Number of Days Until the 2014 Mid-Term Elections

Number of Days 113th Congress Still Hasn't Introduced A Jobs Bill

Thursday, March 30, 2006

And the hits just keep on coming....

You can say this about the Katherine Harris Senate campaign, it's never a dull moment. Robert C. over at IJ4 passes along this delicious quote from the Tallahassee Democrat's Bob Cotterell, "....the most snake-bit Republican to challenge an incumbent Florida senator since 1964, when Claude Kirk tried to convince us that Spessard Holland was insufficiently conservative". There is no doubt her campaign has taken on a comic bent to it. But let's hope it doesn't go to far. We don't want the GOP to field a real candidate against Nelson.......Speaking of Katherine Harris, John Avarois over at AmericaBlog attended the Radio and Televsion Correspondence Diner which was a black tie event. The delicious irony of it all was the photo posted by John showing Katherine Harris and himself in a very friendly hug. So let's visualize the Christian Crusader making nice with one of the biggest gay activists on the blogosphere......Mustang Bob over at his Bark Bark Woof Woof blog has a nice rant about the current values and morality of the GOP faultering under real world examination. He's referring to Supreme Court Justice Scalia and his gesture of "good will" to the Italian press. What will we tell the children?.......Flablog reports on the Lou Frey Institute's Florida Governor Symposium where every living former Florida Governor was invited to speak (Martinez and Mixson [Gov. for three days when Bob Graham left for the Senate] were not present). Eighty year old former Gov. Claude Kirk apparantly brought the house down acting as the stand up comedian of the group with lines like these, "MacKay was governor for less than a month, Kirk complained, "but he has a bigger picture in the hall than I do." Sounds like a good time was had by all.......FLA Politics is reporting via the Palm Beach Post that poltical activist Tom Grayman III is sounding the alarm that our vote in the Sunshine state isn't safe. The author of "Ghosts of Florida: Making Elections Fair for Blacks" is still convinced there is an organized attempt at minority voter suppression. Actually he echo's what a lot of us believe, we need paper trails for our votes. A stolen vote from one person, whether that person is part of a minority community or not is a stolen vote from us all.......I've been quietly watching Mel Martinez and how he handles himself with the immigration issue. Florida Politics is reporting that Sen. Mel Martinez via the Miami Herald is playing broker to the extremist of his party regarding immigration reform. What I found the most interesting about the article was who it didn't mention as opposed to who it did mention. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. got the ink in the Herald article but I was more interested in Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Col. who wasn't mentioned. I would love to be a fly on the wall if Martinez and Tancredo ever hooked up for a conversation. Tancredo has to be one of the most racist Reps. to ever sit in the House in the post Civil Rights era. You can verify that yourself by visiting his blog where he discusses his immigration reform ideas. Actually all one needs to do is visit his bill, the Real Guest Act of 2005 and get of taste of this rascist. That taste, if your stomach can stand it, can be found in the last section of the bill, Title III: "Appropriates funds necessary to fully reimburse providers of federally mandated emergency medical treatment of illegal aliens, but only if the individual provider collects and reports to DHS all citizenship information and other non-clinical information concerning each illegal alien treated." In other words, if a medical facility treats an undocumented alien in an emergency, that facility will not only fail to be reimbursed by the federal government as outlined, but will suffer penalties (as outlined in Title I & II) through criminal negligence. So much for compassionate conservatisim, unless of course you are white and in the top 2% of income earners (see Jeb Bush's millionaire tax bill)....and last but not least, Pensecola Beach Blog has a chilling Iraqi prediction from it's Monday post. It's a must read.

Homage to Britney via Elvis

This post by Jane Hamshire at her blog Firedoglake was just too good not to comment on. When I read it I nearly laughed myself to death once she explained the pro-life movement's real obsession. A photo is floating around the blogosphere showing a sculptured work depicting the birth of Britney Spears' second child as a homage to the pro-life movement. (The back of the work shows Spears' baby crowning). When I first saw it I shrugged it off as just another example of bad art celebrated by those who also collected works of art in velvet. That is until Jane explained the Freudian undercurrent it really represented:

"The right may be good at reptilian brain doggedness but there is not a single artistic bone in their entire body politic. Good lord who thought a statue of some erstwhile Hooters hostess lying spread-eagle on a bearskin rug with a kid’s head popping out of her cooter was a tribute to anything but velvet Elvis high camp. No doubt little embryonic copies will sell like hotcakes off the shelves of Silverlake kitsch shops but Britney’s GOT to be dying.


I think it signals a crisis point in American sex education, the inevitable result of teaching "abstinence only" in our schools. The sculptor does not seem to realize this is the position you assume to give a blow job, not birth."

Yep. The Starr report makes more sense every time the right opens it's mouth about sex. Judge Starr's tome on Clinton's peccadilo (that's singular) makes reading D.H. Lawrence an exercise in Victorian prudishness. For some reason the right is not only obsessed by sex but by fellatio. Twenty years from now Ken Starr's decendents will be the ones that are just dying.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

So Whaddya Think?

I've finally made some of the minor changes I had planned for the blog. I've added several new sites under both the National blogs and Florida blogs. I've also added new links for the 2008 Presidential campaign. Take note of Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire blog. Yes, I know Mr. Ruffini was the Bush-Cheney campaign's web master but his new site is an excellent place to go to find and read up on the latest news story regarding your Presidential candidate for 2008. The really kewl thing about this site is he ranks the candidates by the number of news stories on each one. Check it out - I guarantee it will not be a waste of time. I've also added unofficial sties for the 2008 Presidential candidates: Al Gore, Russ Feingold and Gen. Wesley Clark. I'll add the others as time permits but I wanted to get started with the three named because of the prominence they've received in the media.

I also tried to smarten up the look with a few minor formatting changes as well, like centered type on the blogrolls and some new additions for local organizations. I look forward to any criticisms or blowback that may come my way. Heck, I can even take someone telling me the site appearance stinks in content and looks.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Redstate.com? More like redfaced.com...

Whenever I feel the need to get the feel of the conservative blogosphere's thinking on a particular issue or event my first port of call is usually someone like the articulate and resonably dispassionate Tacitus. Here I can get a crystallization of the issue perspective from the right without all the hyperbole and bloviation one can expect from sites such as Malkin's or Free Republic. Malkin's hyperventilation over what she calls "Chuckiquiddick" isn't even amusing for the usual rightwing molehill into mountain hijinks one can expect from that sector of the wanker blogosphere. Unfortunately for her it's just boring. Though Redstate was hyped to be on the same level as Tacitus in this respect I had never taken the opportunity to make my way over to look around until this morning. As I've been on vacation, I hadn't really been following the saga of Ben Domenech and his recent fall from grace as a contributor to the Washington Post.

Be that as it may, my first trip to Redstate's house of conservative thought yielded some interesting finds this morning. Though krempasky's requiem to a fallen hero followed by Mr. Domenech's passionately penned contrition under his Redstate nom de plume "Augusine" was no doubt touching to their huddled masses. What I found amusing and interesting though were comments from their followers as they performed acrobatic semantics proving they were for principle and character before they were against it:

[...]
He'll be back and we'll be waiting. Godspeed, Ben and our prayers and thoughts are with you. Much love.
~MrsNachos


[...]
I hope he will continue
to post at Redstate.org and over time the questions and accusations will
attenuate under the weight of his new material. I for one will not allow a
moment's victory to those that threw the most scurrilous charges over the past
week hoping something would stick. Those were wrong and betrayed the true hate
and prejudice that many on the left were trying to pin on him. ~KentMiller


[...]
They, the vicious people who celebrate
and seek to benefit from Ben Domenech's mistakes, work under a false assumption.
They think that people can be perfect.


It's why they make such a ridiculously big deal over their own definition of
hypocrisy, and why they take such delight in pointing out what we on the right
are flawed. ~Neil Stevens

[...]

Regardless of Ben's actions as a teenager and young man,
he did not deserve the vitriol that has been thrown at him and his family the
past few days. If you want to challenge his behavior, that's fine, but do not
excuse the absolutely abhorrent behavior of those that brought him down.
Remember, they started with attacks on his very being, not his work. That is
inexcusable. ~c17wife


And my personal favorite:

[...]
[O]nly if the right allows that to happen. Plagiarism
hasn't stopped Joseph Ellis from getting published and you can't seem to get
"Hairplugs" Biden off your tv set. He's already paid a price, will conservatives
in their zeal to prove themselves to liberals exact another pound of flesh?
~johnt


Then there is krempasky himself:

[...]
Certainly it may seem strange today to describe him as a
"man of principle." But those who know Ben -- and all of us on the RS leadership
team do -- know that he is passionate in his beliefs. They also know that he is
human. It was ignoring this humanity that led to our earlier posts about the
situation. It is fitting then, that he chose “Augustine” as his nom de plume
here at RedState – for who could serve as a better reminder of the full
potential of fallibility and sin – and yet existing within that peril - real
hope of forgiveness.

Okay, Mr. Domenech is still a man of principle dispite his character flaw. Then this is followed by what really matters:

[...]
Our critics can raise their glasses and toast to what
they think is success – tearing down a flawed conservative. But therein lies
their greatest weakness: destroying a conservative is not to destroy
conservatism. And while they put all their energy and venom into this campaign,
it is worth remembering that for all the noise – they have yet to present a real
alternative to an America that rests on the foundation of freedom, free markets
and family. Against that, the only answer they have is yet another personal
attack.


Let's forget for the moment the next to last line of krempasky's usual conservative tactic charging that being against conservatism means you are against freedom, free markets and family. Let's forget for the moment the mea culpa's weaved without the expense of principle by their suddenly compassionate conservative followers. Let's forget for the moment that an alternative America offered by liberals gave us everyday things we take for granted like social security, medicare, an interstate highway system, a post WWII containment policy against communism [NATO & the Marshall Plan], the lowest poverty level in the world, the greatest post war economic expansion period [WWII] the world has ever seen. Let's forget all that.

Here's something I won't forget. Bill Clinton's character flaw was directly linked to his principles by the same people now defending Ben Domenech. In Redstate's world apparantly you can have it both ways, unless of course you are Bill Clinton. Unless of course you are a liberal. Unless of course you are not on the side of all conservatives.

Al Franken of Air America Radio has a life long friend on his show he calls their resident dittohead. Franken frequently invites him on the show to defend Rush Limbaugh after playing a series of audio clips where Rush proves daily he is an outright liar. I'm always amused by Franken's friend whenever he admits that in fact Limbaugh lied on that particular occasion of the audio clip but will contend that his principles are what counts.

So Redstate is another example of IOKIYAAR [It's Okay If You Are A Republican] state of mind. What a surprise.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Gore on the run,....but to where?

There is a great piece by Ezra Klein in the latest online edition of The American Prospect about the latest events regarding Al Gore. It is an excellent read even if you are not a supporter or fan. As a lead up to the article it will first be necessary to revisit a moment in 2000 during the run up of the election that was very revealing. George Will did an article about Gore and Bush for Newsweek in his syndicated column once both conventions had finished their business. In the piece Mr. Will attempted to crystallize the thinking process of the two candidates into one single question that would not only put that that process into context but give the reader an insight into each man’s perspective on the world. I doubt even today he realizes how successful he truly was.

Al Gore was up first as Mr. Will posed his question, “What can you tell me about the Houston Astrodome?” As Mr. Will tells it Gore went into an eye-rolling 5 minute explanation and description of the Astrodome’s dimensions, the engineering that went into it’s construction, the special problems encountered regarding the internal environment it created and the unusual requirements demanded to maintain it. Then he described how it represented the cutting edge of American know how at the time of it’s creation. Mr. Will described it as a typical Gore blowhard moment that more than demonstrated his arrogant demeanor as a ‘know it all’ and how it would eventually bring down his campaign. He made his response sound as though anyone in their right mind would immediately discern Gore as nothing more than a pompous wind bag who is obviously full of himself. At this point he moved on to Bush’s three-second answer: “It’s a place where you play baseball.” Period. From that point on you would have thought Mr. Will was present at the defining moment in American political discourse. He cooed over Bush’s simple response as a revelatory moment every voter in America should appreciate. He gushed that this simple response reflected a global view that was desperately needed to cut through the complex issues so vexing to a changing world.

The tip off that their would be dire consequences in this simpleton view of the world should have been evident in the first crisis Bush faced in the spring of 2001 shortly after he took office. When a U.S. military aircraft strayed over Chinese airspace and was forced to land resulting in the crew being held the only concern that Bush seemed to have at the expense of concerns regarding classified breeches was whether or not the crew had enough bibles. That should have been an ‘uh oh’ moment for the electorate right there. After that then where does one start to catalogue those consequences? The deer in the head-lights moment of 9/11? The intelligence debacle leading up to the invasion of Iraq? The policies that have led us to today’s occupation nightmare? The disastrous Medicare drug prescription program? The constitutional crisis stemming from illegal domestic wire tapping of Americans without benefit of a warrant? There is no doubt each one of these events are reflected in Bush’s simpleton response to Mr. Will’s question: “It’s a place you play baseball.”

Ezra Klein’s piece on the former Vice President has a recurring theme about Mr. Gore’s intellect and how the media portrayed it as the veneer of an arrogant ‘know it all’ demeanor. He gets down to business right away in the piece when he talks about Gore’s short tenure at the Columbia School of Journalism in the spring of 2001 when he taught a course entitled “Covering National Affairs in an Information Age” and how he question the very tenants of Journalism that are practiced today:

Gore’s first lecture engaged objectivity itself, challenging the journalistic trope that fairness resides in controversy and an article has to represent all sides -- no matter how marginal -- equally. Instead, Gore argued that the journalistic impulse to exalt even the most fringe views to parity in order to furnish opposing perspectives is harmful to basic accuracy. This didn’t sit well with more than a few of the wannabe reporters in the class, many of whom were aghast at the suggestion that the media should attempt to actually
mediate between truth and spin. As Josh Bearman, a student in that class and now an editor at the LA Weekly, recalls it, “He stood up there challenging the entire dogma of the journalism school. First semester, you learned that objectivity was emperor, then Gore came in and told you it had no clothes.”

And along with that backlash, the old anti-intellectualism Gore experienced in 2000 made a reappearance. As Bearman tells it, “He knew more than everyone in the room. So the class basically turned against him because he was smarter than they were, and they didn’t like that. We witnessed exactly what had happened on the campaign plane in the year prior.” Gore did not return to teach the class in 2002. [Emphasis mine].

Gore’s experiences with the media in 2000 are reflected in the conclusions he passed on to the obvious chagrin of his class. Mr. Klein goes on to talk about how this class precipitated a change in Gore leading to what we see today. It is at this point we begin to see Gore, through Mr. Klein’s article, not only breaking the rules but rewriting them through his association with former FCC Chair Reed Hundt and Moveon.org. Mr. Klein’s piece de la resistance about Gore’s intellect is found when he takes on Gore’s seminal appearance before the We Media audience in October of 2005:

If the Internet is reinventing Gore, though, Gore is using its lessons to reinvent television. His October 2005 speech to the We Media conference was a tour de force, ranging from Johannes Gutenberg to Thomas Paine, Walter Lippmann to John Kenneth Galbraith, the historian Henry Steele Commager to the German
philosopher Jürgen Habermas. Gore was a know-it-all, and he didn’t care if they knew it too. He blasted the media for accepting “fewer reporters, fewer stories, smaller budgets, less travel, fewer bureaus, less independent judgment, more vulnerability to influence by management, and more dependence on government sources and canned public relations hand-outs,” for chasing sensationalism and conflict, for becoming “dumbed-down and tarted-up.”
He lamented that “the inherent value or validity of political propositions put forward by candidates for office is now largely irrelevant compared to the advertising campaigns that shape the perceptions of voters.” But most of all, he decried television’s unidirectionality. “[A]long with my partner, Joel Hyatt, I am trying to work within the medium of television to recreate a multi-way conversation that includes individuals and operates according to a meritocracy of ideas.”
[Again, emphasis mine]
At this point, not withstanding Mr. Klein’s article, it is obvious many a voter across the land, since that fateful moment in December, 2000 when the Supreme Court sealed our fate for the next eight years, must have experienced some kind of buyer’s remorse. As the press pushed the “but is he a guy America wants to sit and have a beer with” meme there is no doubt the choice was stark and real. Looking back one has to point to that moment in August, 2001 when Bush was presented with a PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing] discussing Osama Bin Laden’s desire to hijack airliners and ram them into builidings. Who would you want reading and reacting to that PDB now? The guy you’d want to sit and have a beer with while he tossed around bromides on what ails the world and who thinks the Astrodome is a place you play baseball? Or the guy who everyone says is a know it all and on top of that actually knows how to govern?

As I sit and compose this entry CNN is reporting on Gore’s appearance earlier today at Middle Tennessee State. They just showed him fielding the inevitable question about 2008 and his requisite denial he was contemplating another run. I don’t know what he’ll do at this point. Klein’s article reveals how the options for Gore are now different form everyone else’s. I’ve said before on this blog and I’ll repeat it again. The Democratic Party needs a person who is willing to break all the rules. We need a person who is willing to throw the consultants to the dustbins of history. We need a person who is unafraid to be who they are and tell American what it needs to hear, not what they want to hear. That way the electorate can make a decision on whether or not they want to listen. Mr. Klein fleshed out very nicely the options open to Gore on message delivery not realized by the other candidates. There it is again - - breaking the rules. We need this guy. There is no doubt if he entered the race the entire dynamic would change.

Here’s to change and rule breaking. Gore 2008.

Around the state...

Welcome to my new feature, Sunshine State Daily Blog Roundup. The blogs featured here usually fit Steve Pavlina’s ingredients for great blogs (more on that later) this blogger is trying to follow. These are blogs you more or less won’t find on the Florida Lefty Blog list at Lefty Blogs (with the exception of Interstate4jamming of course). Anyway, here are my picks for today’s roundup.

Go right now to Pensacola Beach Blog and read the “Great Wall of Iraq” post. It’s chilling. TampaBlab wins the most provocative link award as it tells us about Right Wing Howler’s take on a controversial ad regarding guys looking for female roommates in exchange for,…well you can guess. It’s all about values, isn’t it? Robert C. over at Interstate4jamming does a nice job keeping us, [ahem] abreast of the latest saga surrounding the GOP darling of thrown Diebold elections, Katherine Harris, and her Senate bid to unseat Bill Nelson. It seems Ms. Harris will be on Nightline opting for yet another national appearances in lieu of meeting with local and state media. He has two posts that are great reads. Random_Speak has a great post on
abstinence-only education that’s a must read. It only bolsters the argument that abortion/pro-life fanatics could careless about the fetus and pro-life issues. It always has been and it will continue to be about S – E – X and their attempts to control your bedroom behavior. The right’s obsession with sex never ceases to amaze me. Here’s a recommendation for Lucky White Girl. Head over and read anything she posts, you won’t regret it.

If you head over to Catherine’s re-post at Out In Left Field on the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) and the Bush WH you'll see why I love reading her stuff. This is another must read. She speaks for us all as she remembers the forgotten component of this illegal war:

I know a few people who are getting ready to ship out as a result of IRR. They served their country well and now have to go back against their will. Without exception, every one has been outspoken against this administration and the way Iraq has been handled. I feel for these veterans, I really do. They should be
thanked for their extraordinary service and allowed to return to civilian life. They’ve earned it.

Right on Catherine.

And last, but not least Ben, over at his Last Liberal In Central Florida Blog, links to an interesting piece about how to make your blog a high traffic site after a little rant on the Technorati Search List. It’s definitely worth a read. You can bet I gave it a good looking over. It covers ten steps that are really common sense things to do.

Please let me know about any interesting blogs you run across.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bush looking for bottom....

How does that old saying go? “When it rains, it pours.” Well, for Dear Leader, the electorate, in a word, is P – I – S – S – E – D. The last three polls released, which I’m sure Bush doesn’t know about because, you know, he doesn’t read the papers or watch the news, are a mystery to the man who continuously tries to make incompetence a virtue:

NBC/WSJ: 37%
Pew Research: 33%
Newsweek: 36%

Throw in the latest CBS News poll where for the second month in a row it has held steady at 34% and you have an average of 35% approval. Ouch. It’s obvious at this point the GOP die-hard kool-aid drinkers are still dreaming dreams of their man in the WH. He just hasn’t angered them, yet. That remains to be seen. Out across the country though in an election year that is creeping closer and closer to election day in November, one has to wonder how long the rest of the GOP is going to take this and let their man sink them. As a life long Democrat I should be ecstatic at these numbers, but so far all I see is a bunch of jockeying politicians that call themselves “Democrat” for some reason displaying the backbone of a mollusk. Only Sen. Feingold has shown any sand. Oh, and by the way, Tom Oliphant, who on Air America’s Al Franken show this past Wednesday went out of his way to tell Al how wrong Sen. Feingold was, here is my message to you: You can kiss my Democratic Party ass. Please keep demonstrating how the mainsteam media is now passé and irrelevant.Newsweek, Pew Research Center and NBC/WSJ sums up Bush’s anemic numbers:

Newsweek:
March 18, 2006 - A bitterly divided electorate givesPresident George
W. Bush an approval rating of only 36 percent in the latestNEWSWEEK poll,
matching the low point in his presidency recorded lastNovember. His image as an
effective leader in the war on terror istarnished; with less than half the
public (44 percent) approving of the way he’shandling terrorism and homeland
security. Despite a series of presidentialspeeches meant to bolster support for
the war in Iraq, as well as theannouncement of a major military offensive when
the poll was getting under way,only 29 percent of the people questioned approved
Bush’s handling of thesituation in Iraq. Fully 65 percent
disapprove.


Pew Research Center
In the aftermath of the Dubai
portsdeal, President Bush's approval rating has hit a new low and his image
forhonesty and effectiveness has been damaged. Yet the public
uncharacteristicallyhas good things to say about the role that Congress played
in this high-profileWashington controversy. Most Americans (58%) believe
Congress actedappropriately in strenuously opposing the deal, while just 24% say
lawmakersmade too much of the situation. While there is broad support for the
wayCongress handled the dispute, more Americans think Democratic leaders
showedgood judgment on the ports issue than say the same about GOP leaders
(by30%-20%).


NBC/WSJ
WASHINGTON - Democrats might be
overstating thattheir gubernatorial victories Tuesday in New Jersey and Virginia
are glaringsigns for next year’s midterm congressional elections and beyond, but
one thingis pretty clear: President Bush and the GOP seem to be mired in
politicalquicksand.The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released
Wednesdaynight, finds that all five of Bush’s job approval ratings — on overall
jobperformance, the economy, foreign policy, terrorism and Iraq — are at
all-timelows in the survey. In addition, the CIA leak scandal seems to be taking
a tollon the administration, with nearly 80 percent believing the indictment of
VicePresident Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, is a
seriousmatter, and with Bush experiencing a 17-point drop since January in those
whosee him as honest and straightforward.With the midterms a year away,
thesenumbers could spell trouble for the GOP. “These are not good times
forRepublicans,” says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the
surveywith Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart. “This is a very unhappy
electoratethat’s going to be unstable, and they are terrifically unstable
numbers for aRepublican majority.”



Now, where are the Democrats? Will they keep running for the hills when this weakling of a “President” yells boo? Or will they stop cowering and now come out and represent the base of their party, finally?

Values

Okay. Former Jacksonville GOP mayoral candidate Mike Weinstein rebuffed the entreaties of local prominent Democrats Bucky Clarkson and Don McClure to join the Democratic party for a mayoral run now that Duval County GOP Chair Mike Hightower has blocked the way for anyone to challenge John Peyton within the GOP. Forget for the moment GOP party rules that prohibit County Chairs from endorsing Republican candidates before the primary, but hey, it's okay if you are a Republican, right? Of course GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher could tell you a thing or two about those GOP state party rules as he watches local REC county chairs endorse Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist over himself. And the reason Mr. Hightower gave that he’s staying with the GOP? As the Florida Times-Union reports his answer was short and succinct: “…..because the national GOP's values match his own.” The operative word here being values. Not local party values but the national values of the GOP.

Alright, let’s take a look at just a couple of those values: a botched Medicare prescription program that not only confuses our senior citizens (my mother in particular) but rips them off by rules that will not allow them to change plans for one year after signing on and then, without warning, jacking up the prescription drug prices within weeks of signing on, a bankrupt government with a recently raised debt ceiling to $9 trillion dollars, that’s right you read me correctly, trillion – that’s $791 billion dollars higher than the previous one (just for a point of reference the debt ceiling under Clinton topped out at $5 trillion – nearly half); 2,500+ dead and over 20,000 wounded American soldiers to disarm Saddam Hussein of his WMD’s that we now know never existed – this doesn’t even include the estimated 25,000 to 100,000 dead Iraqi citizens for this ‘adventure’; huge tax cuts to oil companies awash in historical record profits while cutting program funding for Headstart, state grants for foster child programs, education and on and on and on…..

Memo to Bucky Clarkson and Doug McClure: the GOP can keep Mike Weinsein. As an elected Democratic Party precinct chair I don’t want him or his values anywhere near my party. Got that fellas?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Now we're talking real money

Well, it’s not every day you get to see these numbers in an official capacity. The U.S. Congress has just raised the debt ceiling by $781 billion dollars making the ceiling $8.97 trillion dollars. As Daily Kos points out every Democrat voted against it with three GOP members joining in (Burns R-MT, Ensign R-NV & Coburn R-OK). What interested me was the example I found from a Daily Kos commenter (Pennsylvanian) illustrating just how much a trillion is:

1 million seconds = 12 days
1 billion seconds = 32 years
1 trillion seconds = 31,710 years

How's that for perspective. I can’t imagine a clearer analogy demonstrating just how large this number is now that we are starting to throw it around with so much ease. Now our government debt ceiling is $8.97 trillion? How in the world did we get here? What’s that old saying, “a million here and a million there and we start talking about real money?” Bushworld sure is depressing. There isn't a Democrat on the planet that could spend money like that.

Running off at the keyboard......

It’s nice to see the “major announcement” Katherine Harris made last evening regarding her floundering campaign was that she was still in. And the big news? She’s using her own fortune. Wow. Good for her. That will sound great to the family of four that is struggling to feed, cloth and raise their family in a Bush economy that celebrates an increase in minimum wage positions as “job growth”…………As the right/pro-life movement make their move with this new Supreme Court Dear Leader has given them it looks like they think its time to take that baby out for a spin and see how she does. South Dakota is the lead off batter with Missouri on deck waiting for their swing. What I find interesting is the more you hear them pontificate about abortion and how its already a done deal the era of Roe v. Wade is over the more you realize it was never about abortion, pro-life, fetal rights, “culture of life” or right to life of anykind. As the latest bill passed by the Missouri state house demonstrates it was and always has been about S – E – X. I should have figured that out with the Clinton impeachment. Griswald v. Connecticut is the real target. The pro-life movement really should call itself the Anti-Sex League. Moves to make contraception more difficult to get is the tip of the spear. State and local “moral codes” (all to do with sex, of course) will be next as the Pro-Life/Anti-Sex League revs up and sets all directional dials to your bedroom. Remember, missionary position only………Watching Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin standing alone in the Senate the day he introduced his resolution of censure made me sad for the Democratic Party. A WH resident with an average poll standing of 36% approval with an ability to make the Democratic Party cower in fear leaves me frustrated and angry. Since then Iowa’s Tom Harkin has signed on as co-sponsor and vocal support has been shown by Boxer with possibilities coming from Kerry and Menendez. That’s it. Sen. Feingold is the only sitting elected official I would even consider voting for in 2008. Al Gore and Wesley Clark do not hold office at this time but right now those three are it for me. The rest of the DC Democrats at this point are worthless as an opposition party. The grass root state parties need to rise up and purge the entire state delegations of elected Democratic Party officials and put people in there that have at least a semblance of some kind of back bone before we lose everything……….With Dear Leader still dropping in the polls one has to wonder how far he can go. Pew has him down to 33% approval and NBC/WSJ has him at a new low of 37%. I’m starting to think he’s at rock bottom. All that’s left are the kool-aid drinkers that wouldn’t desert him under any circumstances. What’s amazing to me is how they can act like they have 70% approval ratings and the Democrats let them get away wit it. My only question is where is my party and what happened to it?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sen. Feingold's Nightmare For Lieberman

Don’t look now, but Ned Lamont just got a H – U –G – E boost from Wisconsin’s own Sen. Russell Feingold (D). This morning on This Week with George Stephanopolous Sen. Feingold announced he would introduce a resolution of censure against Bush for his actions regarding illegal wire-tapping. Though it is doubtful whether or not it will ever make it out of committee, let alone to the floor for one of Frist’s “up or down vote, up or down vote” it should force Democrats to speak out one way or the other as to whether they support it or not. It won’t be hard to guess where Jomentum will fall on the issue.

Sen. Feingold’s gift to Ned Lamont, Jomentum’s likely primary opponent, is priceless. Watching Lieberman defend Bush’s wire-tapping will most assuredly ratchet up the pressure on him as he tried to solidify the base he’ll need to fend off Lamont. As a matter of fact as far as I’m concerned we’d better see 44 Democrats speaking out for this, Lieberman not withstanding. Sen. Feingold’s move here is nothing short of brilliant. Forget that George Stephanopolous asked the Senator about filing for articles of impeachment, he should know better that only the House can file for impeachment. It certainly will be fun watching the posturing that’s about to take place once Sen. Feingold introduces this in committee. I hope the chiropractors in D.C. are ready for a lot of business.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Senator Russell Feingold Makes His Move

Sen. Feingold of Wisconsin has made his Iowa move according to the Washington Post's The Fix via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. Chris Cillizza pointa out that he's also hired former Gore 2000 consultant Paul Tewes, who has Iowa ties. A reader/commenter points out the obvious questions for Feingold as he begins this long process: does a thrice divorced jewish guy have a real chance at the nomination? I like Feingold a lot and I'm giving him very close consideration as my guy in 2008 along with Wesley Clark and Al Gore. If Gore doesn't run then my choice would be one of these two.

There is already a couple of Feingold for President sites with the most prominent one here: RussForPresident.com. I"ll post more later, but I've been expecting this as has others waiting to see what his intentions were at this point. His lone stand against the Patriot Act and his anti war stance gives him a tacking angle against HRC to her left and might make her vulnerable in the end on those issues al la Howard Dean in 2004. As I said, more about this later.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Recommended Podcast of the Week

This is a pleasure to recommend. Marc Maron is back on Air America Radio. As much as I like Al Franken and Jeanine Garofalo, to me Marc Maron is the reason I really listen regularly. If you haven't had a chance to check Marc out I highly recommend it. And the only way to listen is through podcasting. The coolest part is he's funnier than Al Franken.

Speaking of Al Franken, he has journalist John Dickerson on his show tomorrow. As I'm at work during the broadcast here's urging anyone to call the show and tell Al that Dickerson is a worthless guest. The WH shill isn't worth the time.

Gallup: Adam& Eve Hands Down

As I looked over the latest Gallup poll showing that most Americans reject Darwin's theory of evolution I could not help thinking about Galileo. In 1616 he stood before an inquisition while being told the Copernican theory he was advocating was not only philosophically wrong but theologically erroneous. He was expected to recant these heretical views despite what his research showed him. By 1633 his views were considered heretical and Pope Urban VIII puts him under house arrest in Sienna where he remains until his death in 1642.

Despite this he publishes his final two works: Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems & Discourse on Two New Sciences. As I think back about my readings on Galileo in my college days I can't help but wonder about organized religion's record regarding its opposition to science whenever it finds its theological underpinnings threatened by the empircal data of science. Of course the church did eventually come around on Galileo's findings: they finally accepted the fact he might be right in 1986. Better late than never I guess.

The state of denial most Americans live in regarding this "issue," if it can be called that, has a disturbing aspect to it. Let's look at Gallup's actual poll results via Editior & Publisher:

NEW YORK A Gallup report
released today reveals that more than half of all Americans, rejecting evolution
theory and scientific evidence, agree with the statement, "God created man
exactly how Bible describes it." Another 31% says that man did evolve, but "God
guided." Only 12% back evolution and say "God had no part."Gallup summarized it
this way: "Surveys repeatedly show that a substantial portion of Americans do
not believe that the theory of evolution best explains where life came from."


They are "not so quick to agree with the preponderance of scientific
evidence." The report was written by the director of the The Gallup Poll,
Frank Newport. Breaking down the numbers, Gallup finds that Republican backing
for what it calls "God created human beings in present form" stands at 57% with
Democrats at 44%. Support for this Bible view rises steadily with age: from
43% for those 18 to 29, to 59% for those 65 and older. It declines steadily with
education, dropping from 58% for those with high school degrees to a
still-substantial 25% with postgraduate degrees.

Alright. That exlains the 34% that still support the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The 'missle gap' JFK talked of in his 1960 Presidential campaign had now turned into a very real academic gap with respect to other countries in Europe and Asia. I just wonder at what point this cultural and religious denial starts to eviserate? If ever? When we rank near the bottom clutching our bibles?