January 28, 2007

Photo of the Day

(Photo via Chicago Tribune)

January 27, 2007

Sunday Mass

I'm a Catholic who supports stem cell research. I have never been shy to defend my liberalism or my faith. I learn from my parents what was right and wrong, respect, equity, fairness, honesty and faith. But, I can not defend the acts of deacon Tom McDonnell of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic church.
Buffalo congressman Brian Higgins walked out of a Catholic church service Sunday after a deacon berated him during a sermon for the lawmaker's recent vote supporting stem cell research.

The public tongue-lashing came during morning Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic church, where deacon Tom McDonnell criticized the Democratic lawmaker.

Higgins, who was baptized and married in that church, walked out with his wife and son.

"Leaving was the appropriate thing to do," the two-term lawmaker said Wednesday, adding that he apologized "to the good people of St. Thomas Aquinas for their having been subjected to this whole, unfortunate and avoidable mess... Those people deserved much better."
The pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic church, the Rev. Art Smith, offered an apology from the pulpit after the congressman Brian Higgins walked out of the Church with this family.

I find this to be deeply troubling.

Yes, I understand the Catholic church opposed embryonic stem cell research. But, does not excuse the actions of deacon Tom McDonnell. It would have been more effective if deacon Tom McDonnell took this concerns directly to the Congressman rather than publicly attacking him during Sunday Mass in front of this family.


January 26, 2007

Run, Al, Run

Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone makes for case for Al Gore Presidential run in '08.
If the Democrats were going to sit down and construct the perfect candidate for 2008, they'd be hard-pressed to improve on Gore. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he has no controversial vote on Iraq to defend. Unlike Barack Obama and John Edwards, he has extensive experience in both the Senate and the White House. He has put aside his wooden, policy-wonk demeanor to emerge as the Bush administration's most eloquent critic. And thanks to An Inconvenient Truth, Gore is not only the most impassioned leader on the most urgent crisis facing the planet, he's also a Hollywood celebrity, the star of the third-highest-grossing documentary of all time. [..]

But Gore's greatest appeal may come, ultimately, from what he represents to voters fed up with two terms of the Bush administration. "He'll be able to make the case that he should have been president already," says Carrick. "And that had he been president, things would have been a lot different, with the Iraq war being Exhibit A."

This, agrees Luntz, is Gore's greatest draw. "Democratic voters in 2008 are not only looking to turn back the last eight years, but to erase the last eight years," he says. "If I were working for Gore, I'd message around a single word: Imagine. 'Imagine if I'd been president instead of George W. Bush. Imagine where we'd be today.'"
Go read the rest of the article.

Al Gore in 2008!

Photo of the Day

Defeated Senate candidate and former Rep. Katherine Harris Republican of Florida passing out business cards to fellow Republicans in the House before Bush's State of the Union address.
She may have given up her House seat to run a losing campaign for the Senate, but that doesn't mean former Florida Rep. Katherine Harris actually has to leave the House.

See, as a former representative, she keeps floor rights and she used them to the hilt Tuesday night before President Bush's State of the Union address.
Business cards? What kind of Business is Katherine Harris going to run, how to run a failed Senate race and make a fool out of yourself or how to steal the Presidency for your political party.

The Congress really needs to change this, losing candidates should not be alllow on the house floor for atleast a year or so.

January 25, 2007

John '08 McCain wants to Eliminate the Federal Minimum Wage

Republican Senator John '08 McCain joined with 27 Republican to vote for Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado bill that would have eliminated the federal minimum wage entirely and left the wage rate for the lowest-paid workers to each state. Bob Geiger notes, if Senator Wayne Allard bill would have become law Kansas minimum wage would have reverted to state-mandated wage of $2.65 per hour. The current federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour which have not been raise in 12 years. Democrats in the House and Senate want to raise federal minimum wage $7.25 hour. But, Republican Senators filibustered the minimum-wage increase. In the majority Republican Senators were against the filibuster. Now, in the minorty they are all for the filibuster. Shameless.

Someone needs to ask Senator John '08 McCain how can a family in Kansas can live off $2.65 per hour?

On the Attack

It did not take long for the right to attack Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia State of the Union address response to the President.

President Bush's former speechwriter Michael Gerson:
The Democratic response by Virginia Sen. James Webb was also memorable, in a different way. Whenever a politician puts out to the media that he has thrown away the speechwriters’ draft and written the remarks himself (as Webb did), it is often a sign of approaching mediocrity. This was worse. Senator Webb made liberal use of clichés: the middle class is “the backbone” of the country, which is losing its “place at the table.” I am not even sure there is a literary term for a mixed metaphor that crosses two clichés. And Senator Webb’s logic was as incoherent as his language (the two are often related). No “precipitous withdrawal”—but retreat “in short order.” Fight the war on terror vigorously—except where the terrorists have chosen to fight it. It is, perhaps, a good thing that James Webb earned a job as senator. As a speechwriter he would starve.
It looks like Michael Gerson is hating on Senator Jim Webb. The Senator is an accomplish writer who wrote multiple award winning novels and a successful movie called Rules of Engagement. Jim Webb can handle writing a 8 minute speech without any help from a speechwriter.

On the other hand ...

Michael Gerson will always be remembered as the writer who wrote, 'either you are with us or you are with the terrorists' speech for President Bush.
Gerson then throws in another analysis of Webb -- paraphrasing Webb's overall foreign policy message as "Fight the war on terror vigorously—except where the terrorists have chosen to fight it." Yes, this comes from the man who wrote "either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." That line applied domestically as well as internationally ... if you cannot support the Bush approach to the War on Terror, you are one of them, the others, the evil ones. Your phone records will be taken, your conversations tapped, your mail opened and if you support an opposing point of view, you will be attacked as a traitor or coward. That's Gerson's legacy.
It's also the legacy of the Republican Party of George W. Bush.

Sen. Obama: The time has come for ...

... universal health care in America.

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois is the third Democratic Presidential candidate to come out in favor or universal health plan. John Edwards and Rep. Dennis Kucinich were the first two Democratic candidates in the '08 field to propose universal health care. Universal health is going to be one of the central theme in the Democratic primary and in a general election. I expect the rest of the Democratic field will follow suit and introduce their respective plans for health care. As of now, I don't support one plan over an other. I do agree with Senator Barack Obama, the time has come for universal health care in American.

The current system of health care in American is broken. They are countless number of American who live without health care and the cost of Insurance is on the raise for the middle class while services are decreasing. It's good economic and moral policy. Preventive medicine will be one of the best elements of universal health care. It's more cost effective to preventing disease rather than curing it. People without health care fear going to the hospital due to the high cost, which leads to more sever illness and higher health care cost. With universal health care that person could have when to the doctor and received proper medicine rather than waiting and waiting in till you have to be rush into an ER. We can debate what's the best way to fund and implement universal health care but what is not for debate is that universal health care will be much better than the current system we have now.

Quote of the Day

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois reaction to Vice President Cheney assertion on CNN, "there's been a lot of success" in Iraq.
To have Vice President Cheney suggest that we have had a series of enormous successes in Iraq is delusional. [..]

I don't understand how he can continue to say those things while the president calls them 'slow failure'.
I know Dick Cheney is a powerful man in the White House, but when is the media going to stop taking Vice President seriously?

January 24, 2007

'04 Kerry is out of '08

According to the Boston Globe:
Senator John F. Kerry plans to announce today that he will not run in the 2008 presidential race, and will instead remain in Congress and seek reelection to his Senate seat next year, according to senior Democratic officials.
It's a good move. The article cites Senator Kerry knows he would have to face an uphill battle to win the Democratic nomination. Senator Kerry was not my first choice for president during the '04 primary and would have not been my first choice for the '08 primary. But, I do think he would have made a great president if he would have won. Senator Kerry is going to run for re-election and continue to add this voice to the national dialog.

Senator Webb Responds to the President

Please, read the full text of Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address, as delivered by Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.

Elections do matter, they do have consequences. The people of Virginia turned away from a rubber stamp Republican named Senator George Allen to a Democrat. Senator Jim Webb delivered the Democratic message with a passionate appeal to bring back economic equality to all Americans and to change the course of President Bush failed Iraq policies.
There are two areas where our respective parties have largely stood in contradiction, and I want to take a few minutes to address them tonight. The first relates to how we see the health of our economy, how we measure it, and how we ensure that its benefits are properly shared among all Americans. The second regards our foreign policy, how we might bring the war in Iraq to a proper conclusion that will also allow us to continue to fight the war against international terrorism, and to address other strategic concerns that our country faces around the world.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day. [..]

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the general, who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became president, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight, we are calling on this president to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.

January 23, 2007

Quote of the Day

Via Political Wire:
"They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb. I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected."

-- Scooter Libby, quoted by the AP, recalling a conversation he had with his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, as the Valerie Plame leak investigation heated up in 2003.
As Digby noted, Norah O'Donnell of NSNBC is already asking if President Bush is going to have ask Vice President Cheney to resign as a result of what's being alleged at the Libby Trial.

The Republican White House outed a CIA agent for political proposes. Then they try to cover it up for political proposes during the '04 election. Karl Rove must be defend at cost. If Karl Rove goes down the whole Bush White House goes down with him and they lose re-election if Scooter Libby's defense is to be believed.

Who are they going to attack? Scooter Libby? I don't think so, he know were all the bodies are buried. The only person left to attack is Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Expect the most vicious attack dog, Mary Matalin to question the credibility of Patrick Fitzgerald with smears. The right wing noise machine is going to out in full force discrediting case against Scooter Libby, it's the only move they have left.

This is not a good day at the White House.

Shut Up!

Weekly Standard editor William Kristol:
They’re playing — they’re leap-frogging each other in the degrees of irresponsibility they’re willing to advocate. And I really think people are being too sort of complacent and forgiving almost of the Democrats. ‘Oh, it’s politics, of course. One of them has a non-binding resolution. The other has a cap.’ It’s all totally irresponsible. It’s just unbelievable. The president is sending over a new commander, he’s sending over troops, and the Democratic Congress, in a pseudo-binding way or non-binding way, is saying, ‘It won’t work. Forget it. You troops, you’re going over there in a pointless mission. Iraqis who might side with us, forget it, we’re going to pull the plug.’ It’s so irresponsible that they can’t be quiet for six or nine months and say the president has made a decision, we’re not going to change that decision, we’re not going to cut off funds and insist on the troops coming back, so let’s give it a chance to work. You really wonder, do they want it to work or not? I really wonder that. I hate to say this about the Democrats. They’re people I know personally and I respect some of them. Do they want it to succeed or not?
Senator Joe Lieberman of Lieberman for Connecticut Party:
The Senate should "step back for a moment and give you [Gen. Petraeus] a chance…. Perhaps a last chance, to succeeed in Iraq," Lieberman said. "If God forbid, you are unable to succeed, then there will be plenty of time for the resolutions of disapproval or the other alternatives that have been contemplated."
So, basically those two men who have been constantly wrong about the Iraq war wants people who been constantly right about the Iraq war shut the f'ing up and stop being so unAmerican. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

'08: Heavy Hitters

The Democratic primary field for President is shaping up to be a historic battles of heavy weights. On the top of the list is Senator Clinton following by Senator Obama and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards. Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico who is Hispanic and has a great resume will bring a lot to the table. Add the lower tier candidates like Governor Vilsack, Seantor Joe Biden, Senator Senator Chris Dodd and Rep. Kucinich this primary field will only bring best out of the Democratic party. The primary field right now covers all ideological and policy ground of the Democratic Party. This primary field already lost two candidates who are now top tier Vice Presidential candidates, Senator Evan Bayh and Governor Mark Warner. If Senator John Kerry jumps in the race is would add an other heavy weight. Let's not forget about General Wesley Clark who is still undecided but would be an excellent addition to the primary field. The biggest heavy weight of the field has not ruled running for President, Al Gore. I'm still holding out hope that he will make the run.

On the Republican side, it's Senator John McCain. An aging, deeply flawed candidate who is not trusted by religious right, has President Bush failed Iraq policy tied around this neck and is increased viewed as a pander and flip flopper. Governor Mitt Romney who was a liberal during a '94 Senate run turned hard right conservatives for a Presidential run. Finally, there is New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani an other deeply flawed candidate in a Republican primary. The second tier candidates like Senator Sam Brownback and Governor Mike Huckabee are running as the real, real conservatives in the race. The rest of Republican field are one issues candidates.

All of the excitement is on the Democratic side. As it stand right now, the Republican side seem very weak and they can not run away from President Bush either. Again, the heavy hitters are on the Democratic side.

Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts

The last time the Chicago Bears were in the Super Bowl, I was six years old. I really don't have any memories of actually watching the '85 team play football. All of my memories of the that great team comes from television highlights, word of mouth, sports radio and Saturday Night Live's Super Fans. The '85 Chicago Bears is always just going to be a team of legend to me. This time I'm old enough to appreciate all of the ups and downs of a football season in which my favorite team earned a spot in the Super Bowl. Last season a group of my friends and I watch most of the games at a local sports bar. There were Sunday noon games in which we were the only ones in the bar cheering on the Chicago Bears. No one expected great things from that team, but as the season drew to a close more and more people started to show up. The bar was packed to watch the Bears play the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs. The Chicago Bears stuffed a disappointing lost, the season was over.

This season started with high hopes, the Bears was suppose to win their division and reach the Super Bowl. My friends and I continued our Sunday rituals of watch the Bears game together. They started great, beating teams with their ball-hawking defense and explosive offensive. Then, good Rex turned into bad Rex and the defense lost two pro bowl players to injury. Despite of their downs the Chicago Bears keep on win football games. Coach Lovie Smith keep faith in Rex Grossman as this starting quarterback. The wise football men of television keep on picking the Chicago Bears to lose. The media darling of New Orleans came into Chicago as the favorites. The Chicago Bears beat them flat out, but it still feels this team lacks any respect.

It's understandable, the wise football men of television love the simplistic. New England Patriots good, AFC good, NFC bad, anything involving Dallas Cowboys is a lead story, Saints are a team of density and it goes on. The Chicago Bears can not break the conventional wisdom of football. This can change with one win in the Super Bowl. In the case of the Chicago Bears you have to earn respect the hard way. Which is a good thing for this team that is passionated about proving all of their critics wrong. Get ready for two long weeks of hype and the wise football men of television picking against the Chicago Bears.

My early prediction: Bears 27 Colts 17

Go Bears!

January 22, 2007

Super Bowl

(Phot Via Chicago Tribune)

Bears coach Lovie Smith:
We didn’t really get a lot of respect…our guys don’t buy into that. They bought into each other. This is where we ended up.

January 16, 2007

Senator Barack Obama is Running for President

Barack Obama statement from this website.
As many of you know, over the last few months I have been thinking hard about my plans for 2008. Running for the presidency is a profound decision - a decision no one should make on the basis of media hype or personal ambition alone - and so before I committed myself and my family to this race, I wanted to be sure that this was right for us and, more importantly, right for the country.

I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago. But as I've spoken to many of you in my travels across the states these past months; as I've read your emails and read your letters; I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics.

So I've spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need.

The decisions that have been made in Washington these past six years, and the problems that have been ignored, have put our country in a precarious place. Our economy is changing rapidly, and that means profound changes for working people. Many of you have shared with me your stories about skyrocketing health care bills, the pensions you've lost and your struggles to pay for college for your kids. Our continued dependence on oil has put our security and our very planet at risk. And we're still mired in a tragic and costly war that should have never been waged.

But challenging as they are, it's not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It's the smallness of our politics. America's faced big problems before. But today, our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions.

And that's what we have to change first.

We have to change our politics, and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans.

This won't happen by itself. A change in our politics can only come from you; from people across our country who believe there's a better way and are willing to work for it.

Years ago, as a community organizer in Chicago, I learned that meaningful change always begins at the grassroots, and that engaged citizens working together can accomplish extraordinary things.

So even in the midst of the enormous challenges we face today, I have great faith and hope about the future - because I believe in you.

And that's why I wanted to tell you first that I'll be filing papers today to create a presidential exploratory committee. For the next several weeks, I am going to talk with people from around the country, listening and learning more about the challenges we face as a nation, the opportunities that lie before us, and the role that a presidential campaign might play in bringing our country together. And on February 10th, at the end of these decisions and in my home state of Illinois, I'll share my plans with my friends, neighbors and fellow Americans.

In the meantime, I want to thank all of you for your time, your suggestions, your encouragement and your prayers. And I look forward to continuing our conversation in the weeks and months to come.


U.S. Senator Barack Obama

January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr

On this day we honor Martin Luther King, Jr, I want you to read a few of this quotes.
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men"

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

New Orleans, Katrina & Football

I'm a Chicago Bears fan.

Next Sunday the Chicago Bears will play the New Orleans Saints for the right to play in the Super Bowl. As a Bears fan, I will be rooting for Da Bears to win the game. During this week of pre-game hype on ESPN and the rest you will hear how New Orleans Saints are Destiny Team due to events of Katrina and the relief efforts. They will be the media sentimental favorites. The media will do countless number of stories about the New Orleans Saints players helping relief efforts. Those players should applaud for their good deeds.

Let's not confuse a football game with Katrina relief efforts. If the the New Orleans Saints win the game, it will not bring back the city, jobs, houses, or family members. Yes, it will bring cheer to a city and it's people need it. But, at the end of the day New Orleans and the Gulf Coast still has a long way to fully recover.

Everyone loves a story about how the underdog triumph and the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl will be a great story. It makes everyone feel warm inside and forget about their troubles. It will not make me feel good, I want the Bears to win and also want the people who were affected by Katrina to get their lives back. The media will make it seem like a New Orleans Saints victory will bring back New Orleans to all of it's glory. The following day they will pack up and forget about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. But, the struggle will still continue. Don't be fooled, it's only a football game. If you really want to help relief efforts please do more than cheer for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Click on the following links to help the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

* Hurricane Katrina Support
* Hurricane Katrina Help
* Hurricane Recovery: USA.gov

If you have anymore links or info on how to help the relief efforts please add in the comments section.

Victory Monday!

(Photot via Chicago Tribune)

January 11, 2007

Escalation News

* Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will rather not use the word esclation.
"I would call it, senator, an augmentation"
* Senator Chuck Hagel Republican of Nebraska continues to tell the truth about the Iraq war.
So, Madam Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here, it’s very, very dangerous. As a matter of fact, I have to say, Madam Secretary, that I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam — if it’s carried out.

I will resist it.
* Senator Chuck Hagel will not be only Republican who will resist the 'McCain' doctrine of escalation.

* President Bush continues to send troops to Iraq without without the protection of the latest armored vehicles that withstand bomb blasts far better than the Humvees.

* President Bush did not help this cause to save this failed presidency with this Iraq war speech last night according to overnight polls.
The findings of the survey, conducted after Bush's primetime speech, represent an initial rebuke to the White House goal of generating additional public support for the mission in Iraq. The poll found that 61 percent of Americans oppose sending more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, with 52 percent saying they strongly oppose the plan. Just 36 percent said they back the president's new proposal.
I'm not shocked. The American public has finally tuned out the President.

* Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthly debunk Conservatives attempt to call Democrats flip-floppers on the increasing of troops levels.

* Senator Mitch McConnell Republican of Kentucky is threatening a filibuster to block any legislation expressing disapproval of President Bush's escalation of the Iraq war. As the Senate Majority Whip during the last Congress Senator McConnell wanted to end the filibuster. He was for against the filibuster before he was for it.

Denver '08

Democrats Pick Denver For 2008 Convention
The 2008 Democratic presidential convention will be held in Denver, the Democratic National Committee informed party and local officials Thursday. [..]

The convention — which is expected to attract 35,000, including 4,950 delegates and alternates — will be held from Aug. 25-28 after the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Quote of the Day

Former Arkansas Governor Mike '08 Huckabee justifying his support for a military escalation in Iraq.
"I think we have to give the commander-in-chief an opportunity to make this succeed…I think we have to give him a chance to succeed."
The American people have given President Bush and this Republican Party four long years to succeed.

David Sirota:
These moves to simply pretend the last four years haven't actually happened are an effort to build some sort of sympathy not for our troops, but for President Bush. We're expected to believe this ridiculous sob story that a war lasting longer than World War II didn't give him enough time or an adequate "chance" to get the job done.

January 10, 2007

Conservatives attacking the Troops

In an never ending quest to pass the blame of their failed Iraq policy and ideology on the Democrats Liberals Dirty Hippies American people American military, Michael Ledeen of the NRO attacks American troops in Iraq for being lazy.
Note that an increase in embeds doesn’t necessarily require an increase in overall troop strength. We’ve got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don’t know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it’s a substantial number. Enough of that.
Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos:
Their level of disrespect for the poor soldiers stuck with the consequences of the mistakes made by Bush, McCain and the rest of the pro-war crowd is breathtaking.

But telling. The "support our troops" rhetoric only applies as long as they're making conservatives look good. Otherwise, they get heaped with scorn.
Again, these people are shameless.

Quote of the Year

I know it's early but, I doubt anything can beat this. Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend, on whether the failure to kill or capture Bin Laden could actually be considered a "failure".
Well, I'm not sure -- it's a success that hasn't occurred yet. I don't know that I view that as a failure.
These people are shameless.

(Hat Tip to Hunter of Daily Kos)

Doing What They Know Best

Defeated Republican Senators Rick Santorum and Conrad Burns are heading to K Street. Basically, they are exchanging the title of Senator for lobbyist.

Political News of '08

* Mitt '08 Romney supports the 'McCain' doctrine of Iraq escalation. While, Rudy '08 Giuliani is refusing to say where he stands on the 'McCain' doctrine.

* It's starting to look like John '04 Kerry is running again. Which would make all the Massachusetts Democratic House members happy, they been waiting for a Senate seat to up open for years.

* Joe '1988' Biden is running for President.
“I’m going to be Joe Biden, and I’m going to try to be the best Biden I can be,” he said. “If I can, I got a shot. If I can’t, I lose.”
Sadly. The best that Senator Biden can be is fishing last behind Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Iowa.

* Newsweek’s Tom Curry gives us the pros and cons of a '08 McCain & '04 Lieberman Presidential ticket. The best quote if the article is given by Terry Lierman, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party.
“Does McCain need Lieberman to attract Republican votes?”
Those two deserve each other.

* Former Republican Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore is running for president. The Carpetbagger Report looks back at Jim Gilmore's term in office.
He ran for office on a pledge to eliminate Virginia’s car tax, and once in office, successfully pushed it through the legislature. The move ruined the state’s finances, prompting Republicans in the legislature to revolt and insist that Gilmore reverse course. The governor refused, sending the state’s political and budgetary system into a tailspin. Gilmore’s entire tenure set the stage for Mark Warner (D) to get elected, and more broadly, turn this once solidly “red” state considerably more “purple.”

Better yet, after his one term ended (Virginia law prohibits governors from seeking re-election), Gilmore ran the Republican National Committee — run up until Karl Rove decided to fire him.
Run. Jim. Run.

* Christopher Dodd is running for President. The Senator is already showing how irrelevant his candidacy really is by announcing on the awful Don Imus radio show.

* According to Capitol Fax, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan proposed moving the 2008 Illinois primary to February 5 to help Senator Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy.

January 8, 2007

John '08 McCain Can't Count

Republican Senator John '08 McCain of Arizona, the “straight talk”, can not decide how many troops he wants to send to Iraq to escalate the Iraq war.

And, we are suppose to take him seriously as a foreign policy expert?

It Still Pays to be Rich

My father has a saying, If you are rich and ugly you still pass. Basically what he is trying to say, if you have money no matter how ugly you might be you still can get the girl or anything else you want. Trust me, it much funnier in Spanish. Anyways...

Under Republican rule the pass years, the rich got much richer.
Families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts, according to a new Congressional study.

The study, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, also shows that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up in 2004, the most recent year for which data was available, while rates for people at the very top continued to decline.

Based on an exhaustive analysis of tax records and census data, the study reinforced the sense that while Mr. Bush’s tax cuts reduced rates for people at every income level, they offered the biggest benefits by far to people at the very top — especially the top 1 percent of income earners.
As usual, Conservatives are whining about evils of class warfare. Larry Kudlow defends the people who can not defend themselves, the rich.
Today’s New York Times has a classic, class warfare argument from a Congressional Budget Office analysis from 2004 tax data that purports to show “Bush Tax Cuts Offer Most for Very Rich” but actually shows that the top 1 percent of income earners paid about 37 percent of all federal income taxes—a big jump from prior years.
It's shocking, but Larry Kudlow is right.
And do you know why that is? Here's a hint. The top 1% saw their incomes jump by 18 percent in 2004, for a total of 53 percent of the income growth. That means one out of every two dollars in higher wages that year went to a member of the top percentile. And, it turns out, when you make all the money, you pay more of the taxes -- though not proportionately so. In 2004, the rich paid more because they made more. But the Bush tax cuts let them pay far less than they would've otherwise. Contrary to Kudlow's mendacious insinuation, the fact that they paid a high share of the income taxes has nothing to do with the fact that the lion share of the tax cuts went into their bank accounts.
What's not shocking that Larry Kudlow will leave out the fact that top 1% saw their incomes jump by 18 percent in 2004. But, why let facts get in the way of your failed ideology. It's pure class warfare and rich are winning overwhelmingly, as usual.

IL-Sen: 8 Republicans Said 'No' to Challenging Durbin

I know, it's 22 months in till the general election and a lot can happen between now and election day. But, the deadline to qualify for the ballot is less than a year away in Illinois and top Republicans are already saying no to a run against Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin. The count is up to eight Illinois Republican passing on the Senate race. The Republicans are still holding out hope that Abraham Lincoln will not turn them down. In the case if he does says no, the Illinois Republican can always turn to the other 49 states to find a candidate.
No Republicans have stepped forward to say they will run against Durbin, and no one seems to be on the sidelines preparing to jump in.

"This is really becoming a problem for us," said Illinois Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville. [..]

Fitzgerald, who retired rather than run for a second term, is not optimistic about his party's chances against Durbin, with whom he worked and sometimes clashed at the Capitol for six years.

"I think it would take a riverboat gambler for a Republican to run," he said. "Senator Durbin is a liberal Democrat, but the state as whole is a liberal Democratic state, and Senator Durbin makes few mistakes. He'd be hard to beat."
In June 2005, the Conservative noise machine targeted Democratic Senator Durbin for this Senate floor speech about American treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in the hope of tearing down and discrediting the Senator. The Republicans planned that Dick Durbin's misstep would lead to a strong, well-funded challenger and a weakened Senator heading for re-election. Well, the opposite has happened. Democratic Senator Durbin is in a strong position heading for re-election and will mostly like face a under-funded candidate in 2008. Senate Republicans will be on the defense in the next election. They have a lot of seats to defend and might not make the same mistakes again they made in 2006 in pouring in millions of dollars in Democratic states to knock off Democratic Senators. All of their money will go in re-election Republican Senator rather than playing offense.

The eight Republican passing on the race are Jim Oberweis, State Sen. Bill Brady, State Rep. Jim Durkin, Rep. Mark Kirk, Rep. Ray LaHood, State GOP Chairman Andy McKenna, State Sen. Christine Radogno of Lemont and Rep. John Shimkus. House Republican leaders will not want any of there members to leave the House for a long shot Senate bid. If any of House members do jump in the race their house seats will turn to strong Democratic targets in 2008 and Republicans Rep. Kirk and Rep. Shimkus will face stiff challenges if they decided to run for re-election again. The rest of this unimpressive list are eyeing the Governor race in 2010 or in the case of Jim Oberweis eying an other failed Republican primary race this time for 14th Congressional seat of Dennis Hastert. If I'm lucky I will have the privilege voting against Jim Oberweis for Congress in 2008 and for a Democrat to represent me in the House.

I'm still hoping for an other Alan Keyes run.

Top Ten Bushisms

Political Wire:
1. I'm the Decider.
2. I use The Google.
3. It was not always certain that the U.S. and America would have a close relationship.
4. I've got an ek-a-lec-tic reading list
5. The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done.
6. Stay the course.
7. When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look just like a comma.
8. The Congress was right to renew the Terrorist Act.
9. I want to be a war president; no president wants to be a war president.
10. The fiscal year that ended on February the 30th.

January 7, 2007

Photo Of The Day

This gets funnier every time I see it.
All Tony Romo had to do was put the ball down and let Martin Gramatica make an easy kick _ just 19 yards, even closer than an extra point. That's where it all slipped away from the Dallas Cowboys. The Pro Bowl quarterback who saved their season ended it, too.

January 6, 2007

Denny Hastert Staying In Congress

According to Mike Flannery of CBS 2 in Chicago.
In an exclusive interview with CBS 2 Dennis Hastert said he can deal with the demotion, and that, contrary to many rumors, he will not quit Congress.

"I just think that was wishful thinking on the part of some people," Hastert said. "Some even had me being an ambassador someplace, which had no founding at all."

"I've made a commitment to run, and I'm going to stay here to get going here, and I can do some things on energy -- I think energy is certainly important for Illinois," he said.
Jonathan Singer of MyDD points out the real reason why Hastert is not leaving Congress.
There is one thing, and one thing alone to read into this decision: Hastert has seen polling from his district and it shows that either his party would have difficulty holding on to his seat should he resign in the middle of his term or that, alternatively, his party has no chance of holding his seat in this situation.

In November Hastert was able to defeat his Democratic challenger, newcomer John Laesch, by a relatively healthy margin -- but he had to spend to do it. According to FEC filings compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine, Hastert outspent Laesch by a $5.1 million to $300,000 spread, a feat that would no doubt be difficult for any other Republican in the district, even one with the capacity to self-fund, to achieve. Given this, combined with fact that Hastert's district (IL-14) has a Republican lean of less than five points and that just about anything can happen in a special election, a decision by the former Speaker to resign in the coming months would cause real problems for his party.

So this move comes from a real position of weakness and it is indicative of just how worried Republicans are about the current political environment.

I agree with Jonathan Singer, the Republican party is weak. They can not defend a Republican held seat in a very Republican leaning district in a special election. This seat will be a second tier target for a Democratic pickup in 2008.

John '08 McCain: Right-Wing Hack

The Carpetbagger Report keeps us updated on the latest flip-flops of the media appointed maverick.
* McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade to saying the exact opposite.

* McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but has since decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks. (Indeed, McCain has now hired Falwell’s debate coach.)

* McCain used to oppose Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, but he reversed course in February.

* In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.

* McCain supported a major campaign-finance reform measure that bore his name. In June, he abandoned his own legislation.

* McCain used to think that Grover Norquist was a crook and a corrupt shill for dictators. Then McCain got serious about running for president and began to reconcile with Norquist.

* McCain took a firm line in opposition to torture, and then caved to White House demands.

* McCain gave up on his signature policy issue, campaign-finance reform, and won’t back the same provision he sponsored just a couple of years ago.

* McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.

* McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.

* McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.

* McCain decided in 2000 that he didn’t want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he “would taint the image of the ‘Straight Talk Express.’” Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.

And now McCain has gone from insisting that the war in Iraq would be easy to insisting that he’s always said the war in Iraq would be hard. And yet, you’ll still find most of the political establishment arguing that McCain’s strength as a candidate is his credibility.
The count is up to 13 flip-flops. I predict atleast 12 more flip-flops before the first republican primary.

January 5, 2007

Photo Of The Day

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

(Photot Via Chicago Tribune)

January 4, 2007

A New Day

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress.
It's truly a new day in America, but the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not forgotten the past. Nancy Pelosi of California chose to wear purple for a specific reason. It's the color of the suffragettes, the movement to give women the right to vote.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
This is an historic moment - for the Congress, and for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling.
Liberals never lost faith of fairness, of freedom, of equality despite constant attacks by Conservatives. It has taken a long, very long time to get to this point. Let's take a moment and appalled this great progressive achievement.

Moment over. Tomorrow Republicans will start attacking Democratic Party and trying to roll back all of progressive achievments we hold dear. The stuggle continues.


Conservative political columnists George Will wants to do away with the minimum wage.
A federal minimum wage is an idea whose time came in 1938, when public confidence in markets was at a nadir and the federal government’s confidence in itself was at an apogee. This, in spite of the fact that with 19 percent unemployment and the economy contracting by 6.2 percent in 1938, the New Deal’s frenetic attempts had failed to end, and perhaps had prolonged, the Depression.

Today, raising the federal minimum wage is a bad idea whose time has come.[..]

The minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities’ prices. Washington, which has its hands full delivering the mail and defending the shores, should let the market do well what Washington does poorly. But that is a good idea whose time will never come again.
This is only the a start for Conservatives, they really want to roll back the New Deal with includes Social Security and Worker Rights with includes the 40 hour work week. They want to turn back America to the 1920's.

Oliver Willis:
George Will speaks the gospel of the GOP elite and libertarians with his argument that the minimum wage should be $0. Trust the market, he says, and wages will be set to a decent level. Of course, that's what got us here in the first place. Blindly trusting the market to do what's right without any policing inevitably leads to the market's participants doing everything within their power to line their pockets and bollocks to everyone else.

The whole reason we've got minimum wage law and other labor laws is that left to their own designs businesses colluded with each other, fixed their prices, and paid their workers next to nothing in horrible life-threatening conditions (and some of those laborers were children).

Capitalism is great and it works, but without policing, rules, and enforcement it is the playground of devils - devoid of morality and a pariah on our society. We learned that lesson collectively already, we won't repeat it. America's past that.

The New Democratic Majority will not let the Republican Party and Conservatives do away with the hard earned rights of the American people for the benefit of their big business donors.

Quote of the Day

The weak-kneed Republican Senator John '08 McCain continues to pander to the uglier elements of the GOP.

Via Political Wire:
"I think the fence is least effective. But I'll build the goddamned fence if they want it."

-- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), quoted by Vanity Fair, on the push by many Republicans' to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
There is no filthy sewer John '08 McCain won't travel to become President, this man is shameless.

Give The People What They Want

No, the public does not want Washington D.C style 'bipartisanship'. They want the Democratic Party agenda.

CNN poll: These are policies listed by favor/oppose/no opinion.
Allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies to attempt to lower the price of prescription drugs for some senior citizens: 87/12/1

Raising the minimum wage: 85/14/1

Cutting interest rates on federal loans to college students: 84/15/1

Creating an independent panel to oversee ethics in Congress: 79/19/2

Making significant changes in U.S. policy in Iraq: 77/20/3

Reducing the amount of influence lobbyists have in congressional decisions: 75/21/4

Implementing all of the anti-terrorism recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission: 64/26/10

Maintaining the current Social Security system to prevent the creation of private investment accounts: 63/32/6

Funding embryonic stem cell research: 62/32/6

Reducing some federal tax breaks for oil companies: 49/49/2

Changing the rules to allow Congress to create new spending programs only if taxes are raised or spending on other programs is cut: 41/54/5
The American public is supports the Democratic Majority agenda. It's up to the Republican party to work with the Democratic Majority for the common good. But, I won't hold my breath.

Chairman Charles Rangel ...

.. has a new office.
-- WASHINGTON - Rep. Charles Rangel has evicted Vice President Dick Cheney from his office in the Capitol, and the Harlem heavyweight is moving into the prime digs today, The Post has learned.

Gilded letters were freshly painted atop the office door yesterday proclaiming "Ways and Means Committee" - confirming that the office now belongs to Rangel, the House panel's new chairman.

Sources said Cheney's and his staff's belongings were removed over the holidays. [..]

"Mr. Cheney enjoys an office on the second floor of the House of Representatives that historically has been designated for the Ways and Means Committee chairman," Rangel said after the election.

Republicans gave the historic room to Cheney after he captured the vice presidency, but got him to sign a letter saying the gift wasn't permanent.

"I'm trying to find some way to be gentle as I restore the dignity of that office," Rangel chuckled at the time. "You gotta go, you gotta go."

I hope they gave the office a good cleaning. It's needs it after Vice President Cheney used it.

January 3, 2007

The McCain Doctrine

John Edwards:
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, targeting a potential Republican rival in 2008, dubbed plans for a short-term U.S. troop increase in Iraq "the McCain doctrine," in an interview aired on Sunday. [..]

"I actually, myself, believe that this idea of surging troops, escalating the war -- what Senator McCain has been talking about -- what I would call now the McCain doctrine ... (is) dead wrong," said Edwards.
The President Bush is so weak and has no real plan for Iraq that he is turning to Senator John '08 McCain for a political solutions. Yes, military escalation is a political solution not a military plan for success in Iraq.

NBC News, Jim Miklaszewski:
Interestingly enough, one administration official admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq. While this plan will clearly draw some stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, the president is expected to announce it a week from today.
There you have it, it all political. Military escalation is just a political platform for John '08 McCain. Unfortunately for the American military, the Iraq people and '08 McCain President Bush is going to implement the McCain doctrine. Now, the Iraq war is McCain war also. It's a Republican war and all it's failures are on there hands. The Iraq was base a war on politics and ideology rather than facts and military planning. President Bush, '08 McCain, Holy Joe and the rest of their ilk are repeating the same mistake that got us in this war.


Well, I'm Back

I hope everyone had safe and joyful holidays. I'm fully energized and ready to start blogging again.