Senators Allen and Santorum: Taking Their Defeat Like Men

Think Progress gives us a glimpse into the dynamism and the breathtaking maturity, not to mention the progressive brilliance of two losers err.. winners (yeah, real winners), Virginia's George Allen and Penisyl...Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum.

First, George ("OK, how am I supposed to wear this yarmulke anyway? And do they come in yellow or NASCAR colors?") Allen:

Now, Rick ("The Dick") Santorum:
    In defeat, Santorum is clear and to the point.
    From Rick Santorum’s farewell letter: “And I did, and I’m very proud of that. I do not rescind a word because those words are words that this country was not receptive to hear tonight. But, they are going to continue to hear those words from me and I assure you from many others as that threat become my clear, and hopefully our country is called to action to stop that threat before it becomes too serious of a threat to the future of our country.”


"Will Horizontally Striped Prison Jumpsuits Make The Bushies Look Fat?" OR "Desperately Seeking Rummy"

[Time: The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called "20th hijacker" and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a "special interrogation plan," personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski — who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case — has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: "It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ."]
When the first noticed tales of grave prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison first hit the fan a couple years back, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's Pentagon could barely contain its glee as it pointed to and hung out to dry the U.S. (and female) head of the prison, Janice Karpinski. Unlike the loyalist Bushies, Karpinski made herself available to the media for often very tough questions about what went on there in Iraq with the likes of "leash girl" Lindy England and company.

Once the Bushies were done demeaning Karpinski in every form possible, they then went after the lowly soldiers, denying there was any Pentagon-led effort to encourage prisoner abuse while calling the soldier guards and interrogators as "a few bad apples." These Bushies would curl their lips and sniff very dismissively at even the slightest hint that they as top brass should be held accountable for any of it, much less investigated for war crimes.

Rumsfeld seemed to take special umbrage at such suggestions; he also swiftly and forcefully insisted that (to paraphrase) "what overly sensitive liberals call torture is anything but." For example, having a prisoner forced to stand on his head for an hour or having an M-16 shoved up a prisoner's ass was hardly torture, ruled Rummy.

But with Rumsfeld's resignation (which many outlets still pointedly refer to "Rumsfeld's dismissal just 12 hours after the last of the U.S. mid-term election votes were counted, comes an interesting and much needed shift in the same old Bushist song lyrics.

First and foremost: when Rumsfeld leaves his post, his immunity from possible prosecution for such behavior flies out the window. Second, many like Karpinski - long eager to tell their stories but often forced by the military not to do so - may now have both the right AND the responsibility to do so. Such folks have borne the brunt of such investigations up until now.

Second, it's not just Democrats or "peaceniks" who want a full investigation into what went on at Abu Ghraib and continues to go one each and every day at Guantanamoo Bay (Gitmo) in Cuba, as well as perhaps at scores of "secret" CIA and military prisons around the world, such as those in Syria where there has been much documented abuse. Syria, of course, is one of Bush's supposed "axis of evil" nations; Syria is BAD BAD BAD when it suits the Bushies' arguments while a fine and dandy place to send "disappeared" people for waterboarding and worse.

Now Time Magazine along with other news publications report that a lawsuit filed in Germany may lead to charges being sought against not just Rumsfeld but also U.S. Attorney General and big Bush loyalist Albert Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet. Read more here.

Say Hello to...

To Talk to Me Congress' They Get Letters where Julie O. has some thoughtful topics, such as:

Just last night, after the Dems had already taken the House, I heard one of the talking heads still say the Dems have no plan (was it Chris Matthews?). Today, the press has noticed that the Dems do indeed have a plan, and have had one for awhile.

Truth number one: The press isn't liberal. It's lazy, corporatist, has a herd mentality, snuggles up with those in power. Now that Dems are in power in Congress, the press will think it worthy to cover the Dems and their plans rather than ignore them.

And Proof The Democrats Need Watching On Their Political Appointments As Well

Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker shows us why.

After the Democrats campaigned to end corruption in Washington, you'd think they would try to promote only squeaky-clean members to fill powerful posts, wouldn't you? Think again.

Lincoln Chafee: Proof That Not Every Republican Politician Bows To The Bushies On Absolutely Everything

[Ed. note: The Washington Post reports that Chafee may be on the verge of leaving the Republican Party altogether. Considering there are just a tiny number of so-called moderates and they have been extremely poorly served by the GOP, it's almost impossible to believe any of these moderates - of which Chaffee is one and the majority of the rest hail from New England - bother to remain.]

Cookie Jill posting at Skippy International offers proof of a bit of class, regardless of Tuesday's general GOP defeat:

and a good deal of intelligence on the issue of "the war loving walrus" (and thinking about dropping the elephants)

sen. lincoln chafee r-r.i., who was defeated by democrat sheldon whitehouse on tuesday, told reporters in rhode island that he would continue opposing bolton. that would likely deny republicans the votes needed to move bolton's nomination from the senate foreign relations committee to the full senate.

"the american people have spoken out against the president's agenda on a number of fronts, and presumably one of those is on foreign policy," chafee said. "and at this late stage in my term, i'm not going to endorse something the american people have spoke out against." - ap and thewashingtonnote

thank you senator chafee.

What's The Hottest Menu Item On D.C. Beltway's Best Dinner Tables?

As it turns out, cannibalism makes for the best hot...er, haute cuisine around Washington in the aftermath of Tuesday's mid-term elections. Before Tuesday, the loudest and meanest of the neoconservatives like Perle and Ken Adelman and Bill Cristol (Weekly Standard) were dining on Rumsfeld (not quite as tasty as frogs' legs but they're passable with ketchup); now, Bush, Cheney, Gingrich, Foley, and company have been added to the blue plate specials.

According to news out tonight, Bush's "brain" Karl Rove blames corrupt congressmen for the defeats in several critical GOP races like Virginia (where Jim Webb bested macaca-face George Allen). Others, however, point to Bush and Cheney and Rove as the responsible parties (like George Bush would ever accept responsibility for anything).

Unclaimed Territory: The Bush Meaning of "Bipartisanship"

[Ed. note: The Washington Note also discusses Bush's disingenuous "bipartisanship" demands.]

As I noted on Wednesday, the same "president" who insisted after his first "selection" that he was the president of both Republicans and Democrats and then proceeded to lock anyone but the most loyal (substitute: they applaud Bush even as he hurts them) GOPee-ers, Bush wasted no time after the final vote count to tell Democrats that he expected them to practice the best in bipartisanship.

With his usual keen analysis, Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory tackles the meaning, for Bush, on the tricky art - and language - of bipartisanship (and especially tough on Bush for whom anything larget than a one syllable word becomes the utmost challenge). Here but a snip:

The President is going to include all sorts of flowery odes to the beauty of bipartisanship in his upcoming speech this afternoon -- much to the inevitable delight of the wise Washington pundit class, which will excitedly take him at his word and demand that Democrats "work with" the President rather than oppose and investigate him.

But what the Bush administration really means by "bipartisanship" -- as they are already making quite clear -- is that the Democrats in Congress do nothing to stand in their way and, most especially, that Democrats recognize that there will be no looking into what the Leader has done or subjecting his Decisions to any scrutiny. From Time's Mike Allen, today:
    Advisers expect a battle royale over the balance of powers if Democrats use their new subpoena power to try to conduct what the White House is already calling "witch hunts." Bush and Vice President Cheney have made the expansion of executive power one of their hallmarks, and advisers say they do not plan to give up any of the ground they have won without a fight all the way to the Supreme Court. "We're going to have a fierce constitutional showdown over the boundaries of power between the executive and legislative branches," one adviser said. "The executive usually wins those battles, so we think we'll consolidate our gains."
To this administration, "witch hunts" means: refusing to allow them to rule in total secrecy and, instead, trying to find out what has really been going on in our Government.

This is a confrontation which the country desperately needs. The anonymous boasting to Time that "the executive usually wins those battles" and that they "think [they'll] consolidate [their] gains" is pure bravado that they don't believe. They just lost exactly that type of battle when the Supreme Court in Hamdan all but ruled that they were war criminals who had no right to act -- even with regard to how they detain and interrogate suspected terrorists -- in contravention of the Congress.

It is vital to remember that we already have a constitutional crisis in our government. The choice is not whether to create one (since it already exists), but whether to confront and battle it, or acquiesce to it (as the Republican Congress has done). While it is nice that Democrats have taken over the Congress, it is vital to remember that we have a President who has repeatedly made clear that Congress is irrelevant in our system of government and cannot limit the President in any way. Re-establishing the rule of law -- and the principle that the President is not above it -- is still the most compelling priority for our country.

These anonymous shots across the bow are about trying to intimidate Congressional Democrats away from real oversight and trying to bully them away from investigating-- by boasting how the White House will inevitably win such fights, both legally and politically. And the White House no doubt expects to recruit the David Broders and Fred Hiatts of the world to sternly lecture the Democrats about their obligations to be cooperative and about how it is so mean and "divisive" to investigate the Leader. Instead, Democrats will be told that they should "work with President Bush" instead (meaning: ignore their base that elected them and just, all Arlen-Specter-like, politely request permission to modify a few things here and there on the President's wish list in order to cast the appearance of compromise).

If there is anything that should be viewed as impotent at this point, it is Republican threats, accompanied by their boasting of inevitable victory. One of the most important things our country needs is a bright light to be shined on what this Government has done, and if the Bush administration really wants to resist those inquiries and claim the right not just to be above the law, but also immune from scrutiny, all the better.

As effectively as anything, that resistance will highlight exactly what they are. And the ensuing fight -- framed as the President's claimed entitlement to continue to operate in complete secrecy, with no limits or checks, just as he did for five years with a rubber-stamping Republican Congress -- is exactly the one that Democrats should aggressively seek out and engage.

OK, Why Do Some Dems Want Howard Dean Out?

If you listen to the background noise since Tuesday's mid-term election, you can hear some wild things.

One is the oft-mentioned belief that the 11/7 vote indicates that voters are becoming far more conservative. Or, as Keith Olbermann just put in on Countdown on MSNBC: "So that's why Ken Mehlman is out at the RNC (Republican National Committee?"

The second is that there is a big push to replace Howard Dean as leader of the Democratic National Committee (which thankfully is a totally different critter from the Democratic Leadership Committee or, as I call them, "Ronald Reagan Dems" or "Trickle Down Your Leg Democracy").

You find this discussed in several places, but let me give you Odum's take at Green Mountain Daily:

Here's the picture: a powerful elite conclude that a specific political leader with a lot of resouces they see as potentially dangerous should be eliminated, and quietly make active plans to do so. When an event captures the public attention, this elite sees an opportunity to piggyback their agenda of regime change onto it and bully their constituency into supporting their plans.

Iraq? HA! You wish...

From The New Republic via MyDD:
    Some big name Democrats want to oust DNC Chairman Howard Dean, arguing that his stubborn commitment to the 50-state strategy and his stinginess with funds for House races cost the Democrats several pickup opportunities.

    The candidate being floated to replace Dean? Harold Ford.

    Says James Carville, one of the anti-Deaniacs, "Suppose Harold Ford became chairman of the DNC? How much more money do you think we could raise? Just think of the difference it could make in one day. Now probably Harold Ford wants to stay in Tennessee. I just appointed myself his campaign manager."
Where to begin? Now if you're like me, you may need a minute to pick up your jaw after reading this...and the comparison to Iraq, while cutesy, only goes so far. 9/11 WAS a disaster, and to make his point, Carville is trying to cast the recent election as a Democratic disaster - which is laughable on it's face.

Imagine: Former Georgia House Rep, The Conservative Bob Barr, Named In The Same Sentence With "Insightful"

I kid you not, but then Barr has also come out quite opposed to what the Bushies and the most rabid of the House and Senate members have done in terms of the destruction of privacy and other civil liberties and rights promised by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

From John at AmericaBlog:

A really excellent analysis from former congressman, the very conservative Bob Barr:
    [In 1994,] Many in the new [GOP] House majority incorrectly concluded that their 1994 victory was a mandate for all they had campaigned on: dramatically smaller government, quickly achieved; significantly lower taxes; and a complete rollback of many policies instituted in his first two years in office by their nemesis, President Bill Clinton (whom we repeatedly underestimated).

    What many congressional Republicans failed to realize until much later was that their November victory was less of a vote of confidence in them and more a vote against Clinton. This miscalculation led to costly blunders in our first year; including trying to do too much too fast, which placed us far ahead of where the American public wanted us to be and where it felt comfortable being....

    The Democrats will do everything in their power to avoid a return to second-class citizenship. They will be more likely than were the Republicans a dozen years ago to take modest steps, and to be careful lest rhetoric overtake feasible action. The goal for Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her battle-hardened team will be to spend two years laying the groundwork for further gains in 2008, and to push an agenda that will provide a solid and likely centrist platform for their party's standard-bearer.
I think Barr is right on both fronts. The Democrats have put forth solid legislative proposals that the public supports, like increasing the minimum wage and implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. But in the end, those policies weren't the tipping point that won us the election, at least not exclusively. Bush's incompetence (Katrina), and Republican over-reach (Terri Schiavo), doomed the GOP - and fortunately, at the same time, a good crop of sane Democrats presented policy alternatives that the public endorsed (e.g., time to change the course in Iraq).

That means, the Democrats need to proceed with legislative moderation over the next few months, if not the next two years (as Barr notes in his last paragraph). The next two years aren't just about fixing the Iraq Problem and stopping the progression, and actually beginning to reverse, all the other damage the Republicans have done to our country and the world over the past twelve years. The Democrats need to think about the future, their future, our future. If they're thrown out of power again in 2 years, then any gains we make legislatively over the next 24 months won't mean squat - the GOP will simply reverse everything again.

Now, that doesn't mean the Democrats should be spineless wimps, or veer politically to the right in order to fool the public into thinking they're really Republicans. It's more about being mature than being conservative. The public likes backbone and they like straight-shooters. They don't like wimps, they don't like games, and they don't like extremes. That means, yes, you stand up to Bush when you need to. But it also means, no, you don't make impeachment a very high priority any time soon.

(Not that the public wouldn't support impeachment, some day - but you don't propose extreme solutions to problems until you lay the groundwork for those solutions, which includes convincing the public of the need and justification for those solutions so that the public doesn't think you're nuts. This was the problem with the Alito Filibuster, and so much more offered by certain feel-good Democrats. Feel-good solutions, well, feel good. But they get you nowhere if you don't have a plan for actually winning the hearts and minds of the public.)

The Democrats need to balance 'doing the right thing' with 'staying in power long enough to be able to continue doing the right thing.'

Rumsfeld: "It's All The Fault of the Media (Stupid)"

In time-proven Bush Administration style, soon-to-be-ex Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld makes it clear that he make no mistakes and that anything possibly perceived as an error is actually the fault of the media.

From Editor & Publisher:

Delivering the annual Landon Lecture at Kansas State University, Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, soon to leave his post, continued to accuse the media of being "successfully" manipulated by the terrorists.

He also continued to lend some credence to beliefs that Iraq under Saddam Hussein did have WMDs -- and spirited them out of the country or buried them before the U.S. invaded. The Iraqis "buried a lot of things," he said, as for moving the WMDs to a friendly neighbor: "I guess some day we'll know."

When Rumsfeld was aske from the crowd about what's ahead in the war on terror, he replied that "communications" on our side needs to be strengthened: "Today's global, 24-hour media presents new challenges for a government that operates on a -- on a very different schedule. Al Qaeda's second-in-command, al-Zawahiri, has said that, quote, 'More than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.' This is the number two al Qaeda leader explaining to his people that it's not so much only on the battlefield today, it's in the media.

"The enemy we face has skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but for the most part, our country and our government have not yet completed the adjustments that will be necessary. The enemy is fast, with headline-grabbing attacks. By doctoring photographs, lying to the media, being trained to allege torture in their training manuals, the enemy successfully manipulates the free world's press, a press that they would never allow to be free -- and they do so purposefully to intimidate and break the will of free people. We need to understand the ruthlessness, the skillfulness of this enemy."

Another audience member aske about reports of Saddam getting rid of his WMDs. Rumsfeld answered:

"There are reports from people, Iraqis, that that happened – that things were moved out of Iraq just prior to the military action. I can't prove that it happened. I can't prove that it did not happen. I guess that some day we'll know.

"We also know that the Iraqis buried a lot of things. They buried complete jet aircraft. I can't quite imagine that -- when you think of what they cost and how easily they're damaged -- to bury them in the ground takes a certain mentality. (Laughter.) What else they may have buried I don't know."
How will we ever go on without Rummy offering us brilliant flashes of insight like:

"You go to war with the army you have and not the army you want."

"What do you mean there has been widespread vandalism and theft in the fall of Baghdad? All I have seen is one man stealing a lamp which the media replays hundreds of times as if more than one person did anything wrong."

[Followed by, to paraphrase:] "You imply that the greatest museums of Iraq have been sacked. You also imply that the area now called Baghdad is the historical seat of human civilization. But these people are Muslims so how can they have any culture to steal?"

"You say [this] is wrong. But how will we know that at some point in the distant future, it won't seem right?"

What! Mr. Bush Hasn't Declared Martial Law Yet?

Hey, after the way the "president" behaved in the last two presidential elections, don't expect me to believe Bush and Rove are just going to sit back and allow the "will of the people" to stand for something greater than their own boundless egos.

Trust them: somehow before the opening day of the new Congress in January 2007, Rove and Company WILL find a way to dissolve whatever hope the American people managed to muster on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Whether it's some new super scare or a smaller version of September 11th or a newly cooked war, something will be done.

This isn't conspiracy theory. This is merely an extrapolation of the same manipulation of terror, politics, and audacity they have used so successfully before.

10 Zen Monkeys With Election Fallout

What? You didn't think monkeys could appreciate the Zen experience, at least, now and 'zen?

Go read.


Parts of the World Say Thanks to America for the Message Sent on the Occasion of the November 7th mid-term Election Results

Great Britain's The Guardian is but one of the publications - real and virtual - and organizations offering sincere thanks for the demand for change American voters tendered in voting booths throughout the country. I suspect some nations were beginning to believe the U.S. was incapable of charting a course less disastrous than the Titanic adventure Mr. Bush and Mr Cheney kept ramming directly into those icebergs (again and again and again and again and... oh yes, again...).

Here's a snip, but visit The Guardian for more of "Thank You, America":

For six years, latterly with the backing of both houses of a markedly conservative Republican Congress, George Bush has led an American administration that has played an unprecedentedly negative and polarising role in the world's affairs. On Tuesday, in the midterm US congressional elections, American voters rebuffed Mr Bush in spectacular style and with both instant and lasting political consequences. By large numbers and across almost every state of the union, the voters defeated Republican candidates and put the opposition Democrats back in charge of the House of Representatives for the first time in a dozen years.

When the remaining recounts and legal challenges are over, the Democrats may even have narrowly won control of the Senate too. Either way, the results change the political landscape in Washington for the final two years of this now thankfully diminished presidency. They also reassert a different and better United States that can again offer hope instead of despair to the world. Donald Rumsfeld's resignation last night was a fitting climax to the voters' verdict. Thank you, America.

The departure of the disastrous Mr Rumsfeld has come at least three years too late. But it shows that Mr Bush has finally been forced to face the reality of the Iraq disaster for which his defence secretary bears so much responsibility. As the smoke rose over the Pentagon on 9/11, Mr Rumsfeld was already writing a memo that wrongly pointed the finger at Saddam Hussein. He more than anyone beat the drum for the long-held neoconservative obsession with invading Iraq. It was he who insisted, over the advice of all his senior generals, that the invasion required only a third of the forces that the military said they needed. He more than anyone else is the architect of America's humiliations in Iraq. It was truly an outrage that he remained in office for so long.

But at least the passing of Mr Rumsfeld shows that someone in the White House now recognises that things cannot go on as before. Business as usual will not do, either in general or over Iraq. Mr Bush's remarks last night showed that on Iraq he has now put himself in the hands of the Iraq Study Group, chaired by his father's consigliere James Baker, one of whose members, Robert Gates, an ex-CIA chief, was last night appointed to succeed the unlamented Mr Rumsfeld. Maybe the more pragmatic Republican old guard can come to the rescue of this disastrous presidency in its most catastrophic adventure. But it has been the American voters who have at last made this possible. For that alone the entire world owes them its deep gratitude today.

Oh, The Stench

Some people cannot get clean regardless of how much money and how many fatcat important "friends" they have.

I'm reminded of this reading TPM Muckraker tonight. There are two stories in particular that are so smarmy that I feel I need another shower although I just finished one.

The first is about Michael Steele, the African-American Maryland Repugnant Republican who lured poor, homeless and hungry blacks and students to pass out "fear" literature only then to deny them payment, food, and transportation he promised to them for their efforts. Steele appears to have targeted desperate Philadelphians so he could more easily deny that he was taking improper advantage of Maryland residents.

Then there is Bob Perry, yet another Texas millionaire with too much time and nastiness on his hands. If you don't know his name, you likely will recognize the organization he financed: the "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" crew that came out in 2004 to lie about then presidential candidate John Kerry.

While GOPers love to "dis" George Soros for the money he provides to progressive causes, few of them will admit that this Texas man (and I use the term loosely with Mr. Petty Perry) far EXCEEDS the money Soros spends. For example, Perry spent more than $9 million on attack ads and lies. Thankfully for America, it appears Mr. Perry's money just got pissed away. Of the 20 campaigns to which he over-generously contributed, 14 of these Republicans sank.

Perhaps you were one of the many Americans targeted with robo calls carefully crafted to annoy the hell out of Democrat and Independent voters and to make it seem like it was Democratic candidates calling the same people again and again and again (even I got "treated" to three such calls late in the afternoon on Tuesday, long after I cast my votes).Frankly, I think it's time Mr. Perry is forced to account for his despicable conduct.

After all, for all Perry's money, he is neither all that swift nor is he any too good on the "truth" part either.

On CNN, Ken Mehlman, Bill Maher And Trying To Stuff The Genie Back Into the Bottle

CNN is apparently very, very loyal to high-ranking GOPers. It's the only way I can easily explain the incredible fuss CNN is making as it orders YouTube to yank video of comedian Bill Maher mentioning that Ken Mehlman is.. uh... er... homosexual.

However, if you're wondering what the controversy is regarding the chairman of the Republican National Committee, see my previous post here and the story about Bill Maher "outing" Mr. Mehlman here.

CNN: Chairman of Republican National Committee Will Step Down By Year's End

So Ken Mehlman is on his way out faster than Pastor Ted Haggard changed his many versions of his I-never-smoked-methamphetamines-but-I-did-buy-it-to-throw-away-on-my-way-back-from-a-totally-heterosexual-massage-from-a-gay-male-prostitute?

I suppose my only questions are:

  1. Is this decision entirely based on the poor, poor, poor performance on Tuesday?
  2. Did this disclosure tonight have any hint of something to do with Bill Maher's disclosure of one of the worst-kept secrets in the GOP-waving-Chinese-made-American-flags-world that Mehlman is a gay male driven, it would seem, to make policies that hurt other gays?
  3. Was the revelation that Mehlman's RNC received HUGE contributions from the makers and distributors of hard core gay porn a factor?
  4. Did Mehlman's culpability in the Mark Foley (cough) affair influence this decision?
  5. Is there a concern that Republicans may face major scandals and litigation based on the way GOP contractors used robo calls to make voters angry with Democratic candidates?
  6. And - last but not least - how soon may we expect to see Karl Rove flogged in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue?

The irony here is not solely that homosexuality comes up again and again in such reasonably legitimate questions. I do not believe for a moment that being gay is some punishable offense anymore than heterosexuality is.

No, the sad issue is that again and again, we hear the far right Republicans talk of homosexuality like it's somehow worse than being a war criminal and insist that "these people" must be stopped at any and all costs before they do terrible things like enter into a long-term monogamous relationship through same-sex marriage. Yet - also again and again - we learn that the "great moral ones" - like a Mark Foley, a Ted Haggard, a Ken Mehlman, a David Drier, to name but a few - love to make rulings against other gays while living a double (or triple) life.

Little Snot Green Neutered Balls Speak On Their Defeat

You have to love the people who flock to Little Snot Green Neutered Balls.. er, Little Green Footballs, as General J.C. Christian so ably points out here. [Sorry, I just cannot link to LGF directly, not when I'm still trying to work through the trauma of getting a mention on Sean Hannity's site by people for whom the brain is NOT a working organ.]

My two "favorites" - and again, go to the General to read them or get the link, if you really want to swim in that contaminated gene pool - are this:

    I think this demostrates pretty clearly that voting should be a privilege, NOT a right.
    and that: Bush is losing precisely because he has took the high road after 9/11 instead of Zyclon B-ing most of the muslim world after attacking our shores as they have been doing to our shipping since 1800.

    This is a world war and not a tea party for the Yale/Harvard clique...

    Islam must have a boot smashing into its face forever until it becomes a grown up religion not bent on murdering everyone on the planet...
Bush took the high road?

What the f---?

Are these folks smoking methamphetamine with Pastor Ted Haggard while their smallest organs (brains or penis, either way) get massaged by a male prostitute?

In Honor Of The First Woman To Lead The House Majority, Nancy Pelosi

... check out some of MissM's moving election week material. You won't be sorry (unless your name is Santorum, Allen, Burns or Rove).

Yeah Right: Mr. Bush's "Appeal" For Non-Partisanship Lasted All of 3 Seconds Before He Started Pushing John Bolton Down Our Throats Again

I can actually find one vaguely complimentary thing to say about Bush - at least, if knowing that poison ivy will dependably drive many people nuts with itching or hemorrhoids can be relied upon to burn is a compliment. That is, Mr. Bush can be relied upon to push the worst stuff on us; he's consistent in that regard.

After his happy horseshit about wanting non-partisanship to rule Washington now that the Democrats have the majority when he practically told Dems to stay home because they were neither needed or wanted, Bush is now making one last push to make John Bolton the permanent U.N. ambassador.

Why he's doing it is clear: no way is Revoltin' Bolton gonna pass once the Dems take majority.

Yet it's not just Democrats who have real problems with Bolton; we've heard from plenty of people who worked with him who say he's a bully and a liar. And since Bush forced through his appointment during a break in Congress, no less than our "greatest allies" like Great Britain have complained that Bolton is the wrong man for the job. Bolton makes good diplomacy almost impossible because he feels it's his right as a Bushie to bully and demand and tell everyone else what to do.

Bolton, as you may remember, is pretty sure God and Kofi Annan died and left him boss.

On A Note So Stupid It Almost Sounds Bushish: KFedup? Fed-Ex?

Gee, I can't seem to stop crying over the break-up of those two great mental giants and lovers of our time: Brittney Spears and Kevin Federline. Man, think of the brain trusts their two children will be.

[Oops, mea culpa. Those aren't tears; it's raining.]

Soldiers And Military Families Hopeful In Light of Donald Rumsfeld's Impending Departure

Well, the Army Times - along with the Navy Times, Marine Corps Times, and the Air Force Times - called it right in their editorial on Monday: it was time for Rummy to be sent packing as Secretary of Defense (or as I like to call it, secretary of the indefensible).

Soldiers and the military families had every right to want to see Rumsfeld gone.

A Fuckup Worthy of The Bush Administration

Seriously, only this White House could be behind a fuck up of this magnitude: the $2.7 Million firehouse dog chow bill. (That must be some kibble!)

Please don't tell my dog, Ben. He wouldn't be too happy with me if he found out not everyone buys bargain dog food.

Woof! Woof! Woof! [And just imagine how precious and expensive that dog's poop must be! As the defeated George Allen would say, "That's some damned macaca!"]

Oh, Now Bush Is Open To New Ideas on Iraq War!

I'd say this is like 2,600 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilian lives/death toll too late.

Go have another pretzel, George.

What You Need to Know About Pat Tillman's Death And Rumsfeld's Pentagon Coverup

Story here on the inquest into the sports star's death from so-called "friendly fire" which the Bushies lied about so loudly and so long.

Jim Webb: Hardly The Chickenhawk So Many of The Republicans - Bush, Cheney, DeLay - Are

W. Patrick Lang talks about a big issue that Jim Webb, the apparent Democratic victor in Tuesday's Virginia senate race against incumbent George (Do bears macaca in the woods?) Allen, does not: Webb's own decorated combat service.

Lang - someone who has earned my respect over the years - also takes on the issue of how the neoconservatives like Perle, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby, and Paul Wolfowitz seem to be eating each other over the war failures in Iraq while macacaing uh.. shitting on the Bush Administration and Donald Rumsfeld. Here's a quote from Vanity Fair on this same issue:

    "Perle goes so far as to say that, if he had his time over, he would not have advocated an invasion of Iraq: "I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.' … I don't say that because I no longer believe that Saddam had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction, or that he was not in contact with terrorists. I believe those two premises were both correct. Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."" Vanity Fair
Now here's a snip from Lang ("pitiful sect" indeed; read it all, I'd say).
The men interviewed in this article were among those who made the case for war with Iraq, occupation of the country and revolution in the Middle East.

Perle, as usual, is slippery and deceptive. He falsely implies here that he, and his chums, did not use every propaganda, information operations and rhetorical tool available to make the case that Iraq was a menace, a current menace, to the United States in both the field of WMD and as an active ally of the international jihadis.

Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Luti, Scooter Libby, Harold Rhode and the Wurmsers are all missing from among the interviewees here but should not be forgotten in the "reckoning."

They all played major roles in the catastrophes that have befallen us.
Revolutions typically devour their own. Danton and Robespierre played a high price for "riding the tiger" in the french Revolution. The neocon "revolution" has failed miserably when confronted by reality on the ground in Iraq. The failed neocon revolution has cost us dearly in death, mutilation, distorted lives, treasure and honor.

If the Democrats win control of the House they will have a solemn duty to see that these wretches and their foreign allies are dealt with appropriately and that their fantasist political sect is relegated to the obscurity that it deserves.

Wake up Republicans! These are people who have tricked and abused you.

For Republicans In Need of Some Pain Relief After Tuesday's Election, Beware!

I'd love to think Karl Rove has a bloody body-shaking migraine right now. But if he - or any other GOPer - needs some pain relief, they would do well to avoid taking acetominophen, the generic form of Tylenol.

Some 11 million bottles of the stuff in caplet form manufactured by Perrigo but often sold under generic and store-brand labels have been recalled. The danger is that these caplets may contain tiny metal fragments. Check the manufacturing information on the bottle/box.

However, I have to admit I took some last night (by accident, thought they were ibuprofen) which appears to be Perrigo-made. The only reaction for me was intense abdominal discomfort, but that happens whenever I take Tylenol in original or generic form. That last part is rather ironic since one of the big reasons for Tylenol's success has been that it causes less stomach problems than aspirin and other such pain relievers.

And Speaking of Democrats and The 2008 Presidential Bid

I just saw this poll over at CNN:

    POLL: 2008 NOMINEE

    Democrats' choice for 2008 presidential nominee:

    Sen. Hillary Clinton: 28%
    Sen. Barack Obama: 17%
    Al Gore: 13%
    John Edwards: 13%
    Sen. John Kerry: 12% Sen. Evan Bayh: 2%
    Sen. Joe Biden: 2%
    Sen. Russell Feingold: 2%
    Gov. Bill Richardson: 2%
    Gov. Tom Vilsack: 1%
Source: Opinion Research Corp. interviews with 472 registered Democratic voters October 27-29. Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts

Oh For Pete's Sake: We're Already Starting The 2008 Presidential Campaign?

Apparently, yes. (groan)

Democratic governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, threw his hat into the ring as the first Democrat to seek his party's nomination as presidential candidate for 2008.

I wonder if any but about 312 people even know who he is.

Bush To New Dem Majority in Washington: Do As I Say, Not As I've Always Done

Isn't it a tad ironic that President Bush, who insisted when first "selected" that he was the president for both Democrats and Republicans (I guess Independents don't count), yet defiantly refused to let any Dem have a voice or a seat at the table, now is all but ordering the new Dem majority to behave in a non-partisan way?

Ironic, but hardly unexpected.

Personally, I think everyone loses in a situation as we've had especially the last six years. Increasingly, the majority of American voters in many states register as Independents rather than one of the two primary parties. In fact, a large percentage of Americans cannot identify any other party but those two.

I do expect that the Dems will NOT be anywhere near as tyrannical as the Senate of Bill Frist and the House of Hastert and DeLay and Boehner (and what a boner he is, too). But the president is probably going to have to stop ordering everyone around every minute like the miserable little grade school bully he is.

Good Night, Ed Bradley

I was shocked and saddened to hear this afternoon of the death of journalist and long-time 60 Minutes correspondent, Ed Bradley. The wire services report he has battled leukemia for a time.

Bradley was among my all-time favorite correspondents for the age-old CBS news magazine and probably my favorite added after the original cast of Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner, (oh gosh, what's the other original one besides Andy Rooney who was my original fave?), et al. I recall thinking how "brave" it was for a man like him to wear an earring in a climate that was not - and still isn't always - at all friendly to any "variations".

My condolences to his family and friends. His absence will likely be as keenly felt as his presence always was.

Yeah, Well, I Keep Waiting For The Other Shoe to Drop...

Since last night, various news organizations have called it "official" that the Democrats now assume the majority in both houses of Congress.

Yet I really do seem to be in "wait and see" mode, expecting the other shoe(s) to drop.

Call it post-traumatic stress disorder from the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections where Bush did not win both times and yet took office regardless, as well as the 2002 mid-term in which so many of thought someone other than the Repugnants stood a chance to provide a check and balance in Washington.

What's remarkable here, perhaps, is that we know Virginia - as one example - was having BIG problems with the voting machines. Remember that early voters had to "guess" in tendering votes for Democrat Senate candidate James Webb, Democrat because somehow Webb's name was TOO long to fit on the ballot while George R. Allen, Republican was magically not too long to display. [Note that Webb's entry is actually more than a couple letters shorter than Allen's.

This does NOT mean the issues with voting machines is resolved; far from it. There are many reports of whole voting districts seeing every vote cast for a Democrat count instead for a GOP candidate.

Perhaps what we saw Tuesday was that voters were so eager to provide a check/balance system again to the Bushies that sheer numbers offset the crooked vote counts.

Your thoughts?

Ken Mehlman, Please Step Out of That Closet

Oh my.

While bloggers such as myself have railed against Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman for his and his party's draconian attitudes toward gays, Bill Maher appears to be the first to "out" Mehlman on (inter)national TV.

Massachusetts Elects Its First Governor of Color

Congratulations to Deval Patrick! He appears to be the first-ever African-American winner of the state's top office.

Americans Aren't The Only Ones Cheering Rumsfeld's Exit

The Iraqis are downright cheering the end of Donald Rumsfeld's term as Secretary of Defense.

Can you blame them?

I suspect the citizens of Iraq actually would greet U.S. soldiers with flowers and kisses were they to hear that President Bush has been at least impeached or - better yet - arrested and tried for war crimes and/or treason.


Howard Dean: Fully One-Third of White Evangelical Christian Vote Tuesday Went to Democrats

Watching Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman (and my former governor as well as my preferred 2004 presidential candidate) Howard Dean with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show just now netted me information I did not know: that one in every three white Christian evangelicals who voted in the mid-term election on Tuesday cast a vote for Dems.

At first blush, this sounds surprising, largely because of the stereotype many of us (sometimes, myself included) have about such voters. The media always labels them as wildly pro Republican and so do lots of us.

However, while granted we did not hear from them often in the media, I've both seen in news reports and communicated personally with many who identify themselves as white evangelicals who go against the grain of a James Dobson or (God forbid!) a Ted Haggard, a Jerry Falwell, or a Pat Robertson.

For example, those I've had the pleasure to speak with have told me they support:

  • stem cell research and other medical initiatives to improve quality of life and relieve suffering
  • an individual's right to choose (everything from gay marriage and gay adoptions to assisted suicide for the terminally ill, a woman's decision whether to carry a embryo to term, remove illegality for use of medical marijauna, et al)
  • the teaching of true science like evolution in public schools
  • keeping religion out of government and government out of religion

As one woman recently wrote me in email, she deeply loves her faith and would not - due to that faith - easily terminate a pregnancy, she believes it is not her or her church's business to try to prevent another woman from making a different choice. Likewise, she wrote that she very much wanted her two school age children to understand science that is not watered down or twisted around; she believes in evolution.

I go into this detail because I think all of those of us progressives feel like our intelligence has been insulted by the Bushies' rampant blather of religion and God to limit even something as core as the rights spelled out by the Constitution. But we also need to avoid assuming that all those with a fundamentalist bent have checked their brains at the door.

About Time: The First Muslim Elected to Congress

While other stories have gotten the attention, Minnesota voters made history of their own on Tuesday with the victory of Keith Ellison in his bid for an open seat in the House of Representatives.

Ellison is not only the first Muslim (he converted in college) ever elected to Congress, he is also the first non-white to ever win a seat from Minnesota, the proud home of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. The Wellstone connection matters here because Ellison says he very much respected and admired the Minnesota maverick and shares many of Paul's progressive, liberal interests and goals.

For those of us who have sorely missed Wellstone, taken from us far too soon in a tragic plane crash, as well as those of us who would like to see more diversity and progressiveness on Capitol Hill, Ellison's win raises hopes from a House of too often Reprehensibles. Ellison is pro gay rights, pro a woman's right to choose, for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, and progressive in approach to both health care and education.

From Ellison as quoted in The International Herald Tribune:

["]I think the most important thing about this race is we tried to pull people together on things we all share, things that are important to everyone. We all need peace, and this Iraq policy is dangerous to our country," said Ellison, who has called for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Ellison said his campaign united labor, minority communities, peace activists. "We were able to bring in Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists," he said. "We brought in everybody."
Congrats, Congressman Ellison. I'm looking forward to hearing more about and from you. With more than 1.4 billion Muslims in the world, and with the conflicts the U.S. keeps getting embroiled in regarding its policies in the Muslim world, there has never been a better time to finally see a strong, intelligent, progressive Muslim voice on Capitol Hill.

Bush to American Voters: "You Folks Retards or What?"

Well, that really does sound like what the "(p)resident" meant today at the press conference when he said (to paraphrase):

"I thought I made it pretty clear to America that a vote for a Democrat was for taxes and bad for homeland security. But apparently they just weren't smart enough to believe me. Not like I ever led 'em wrong or nothin'."

Gee, I think many in America did hear Bush on these points. They saw their taxes go up along with the complete obliteration of the Clinton-era surplus while Bush and Cheney could not cut taxes fast enough for billionaires and offer the largest ever corporate welfare system for Halliburton, UnoCal, Bechtel and others.

As for homeland security, we don't have any. Oh, yeah, we've spent more than half a trillion or so on huge, lucrative contracts for Bush friendly "defense" companies but only an American with the IQ of a gerbil - or a George Bush or Rick Santorum - would fail to realize:

  • while airports check nonogenarians (explanation for Bush: 90+ year olds) sneakers and hearing aids for bombs, there remains NO system in place to check the cargo going on those planes
  • the GOP keeps trying to sell U.S. port security to Al Qaeda's best friends
  • we'll make Americans and Canadians have passports to cross the northern border while anyone who decides to cruise into Miami from Cuba gets automatic citizenship with no background check; someday someone like Osama bin Laden is going to row up from Cuba in a '57 Chevy fitted with water wings
  • the Bush Administration has spent untold billions on a system that across the board has made us less safe at the same time putting in place policies that make the U.S. a more appealing target all the frickin' time
So, Mr. Bush, I agree that someone is a "stupe", but I think you might want to check out a mirror first. 'Nuff said.

Pennsylvania Senator Rick "Man On Dog" Santorum Gets Neutered

[Ed. note: Check out Xavier and Peter's post and pic of Santorum Google(bombed).]

Sorry, I couldn't resist posting Keith Olbermann's best line of the night.

And hell, as long as I'm being catty (or is it with me more properly katty? just don't call me kathy), I also can't resist posting this Santorum photo Jon at Pensito Review offers.

Personally, I don't think the girl in the foreground is crying because her dad lost. No, she's crying because she's gonna have dear old dad, Pennsylvania's worst joke, around the house more.

And remember: Ricky couldn't live on his meager $160K with rich benefits Senate pay; he said he needed his retired parents to send him part of their pension every month to "get by". His folks must be so.... so.... proud.

It's Official: Jim Webb Wins Over Macaca-Face Incumbent George Allen in Virginia Senate Race

Both Associated Press and MSNBC say it's official: former Republican (now Democrat) Jim Webb is declared the winner in the Virginia Senate race that had Incumbent George Allen wiping macaca from his face while being completely graceless about his (supposed) discovery that he is in part Jewish. This gives Dems a slight majority in the Senate as in the House now (but I think the Montana race isn't quite official yet).

Gee, George, I think you should be thrilled to be Jewish while you should worry like hell that you will always be a racist asshole jerk.

But fear not, George Allen! Perhaps you and Ricky "Sanctimonious" Santorum can research "man on dog" and "cousins marrying children while listening to Michael Jackson" sex together while you both work the check out lines at Wal-Mart.

Bush Does It Again: Lies About Rumsfeld's So-Called "Resignation" Right After He Says Rummy Will Stay To The Bitter End

Did you catch Bush's post-Rumsfeld resignation (er...) announcement press conference?

After less than a week ago insisting that he would NOT solicit the Defense Secretary's resignation and that Rummy had a "no cut" contract through the end of the Bush Administration (the polite title for a group that makes Tony Soprano's "waste management organization" seem ethical and progressive by comparison), Bush completely lied again today.

Bush today insisted that reporters had "misconstrued" (no, Bush could not pronounce it, this is my wording) his statement last week that he would keep Rummy and VP Dick Cheney through the end of his term. Jon Ponder at Pensito Review indicates that Bush inadvertently admitted that he lied to reporters, but I think that may be a step beyond what Bush did today; I believe he put the onus on the reporters since, of course, King Boy George never takes responsibility for anything.

And - of course - the White House press corps let him get away with it then AND now. I went back over a report of last week's "stay the course with Rummy and Cheney" comments by Bush and I don't see any "wiggle" room for how he phrased his statement. Does the press hold him accountable for anything?

Read Jon's take on it here. It's well worth the read.

I think Rumsfeld got fired either late last night or today. By heaving him off the side of the Titanic, Bush can claim to be charting a whole new course when all he did was make Rummy the scapegoat.

Your take on this?

Interestingly, the NPR bit I heard in the car coming back from Burlington called it "Rumsfeld's dismissal" which I happen to believe is far closer to the truth.

Don't cheer yet. Bob Evans, the man Bush has nominated to replace Rumsfeld, is a long time Bush loyalist and has worked with scum-sucking Bushie James Bakker on the whole Iraq matter. This is NOT a fresh face or change.

Hey, Mr. Bush: Still Got That Mission Accomplished Banner?

Because Mr. Lame Duck, if you do have the Mission Accomplished banner hanging around from your May 2003 announcement that the war in Iraq was over (::ahem::), I think you can finally hang it honestly.

Oh, not because the war in Iraq is over. If anything, you've only made it exponentially worse.

But you did accomplish something, Mr. "President": you and your ilk ruined this country so very badly that Americans were finally willing to turn off "American Idol" and turn to their responsibilities as voters and as thoughtful citizens of both the U.S. and the planet.

This may be the first decent thing you've done, Dubya. Nobody else was quite able to ruin things as you have to terrify people enough to wake up.

It's OK, though. Many Americans have come out of their "terror alerts" and gotten back to work as members of a constitutional democracy.

Whether you're impeached, imprisoned, tried and convicted as a war criminal, or (sadly) allowed to fade into the sunset, you're gone, buddy. People now know exactly what you are, and it's never been leader of the free world.

Great Work, Congratulations, But We Have Only Just Begun to Fight

Believe it or not, yesterday was not about Democrats winning and Republicans losing.

This fight really has very little to do with any one political party. What we stand for as a nation cannot be boiled down into Republicans vs. Democrats although that is the battle as it was always framed by Karl Rove.

For the last 6 plus years, anyone who was not a Bush loyalist or defense contractor has lost. But yesterday, with some of the best mid-term voter turnout EVER, we did win. Not because of our party affiliation but because we decided to be involved and to hold ourselves and our elected representatives responsible for what America is and how it behaves as a citizen of the world.

As the new banner above states, our real work has only now just begun.

Celebrate today.

Tomorrow, let's talk about what we need to do. Laurels look pretty, but they aren't suitable for "resting" upon. We need to reclaim ourselves, our nation, and our place in the world - not by being vainglorious, but by being responsible, by no longer allowing atrocities to be committed in our name, and by no longer permitting "bully" talk to substitute for true leadership.

And with all that said, I don't think anyone in the city of Burlington, where I spent much of the day, failed to hear me yell out when Donald Rumsfeld's resignation was announced. I certainly made the security people at the federal building on Elmwood Avenue nervous (and I'm just 5'2.. albeit an extremely tall 5'2).

Resignation? Yeah, right, sure.

Tom DeLay: "The Democrats Didn't Win. The Republicans Lost."

I agree with CNN's Jack Cafferty: why is anyone giving Tom DeLay, a corrupt criminal, any air time whatsoever?

Bugman DeLay is so low that bugs should be exterminating him


Arnold C. Brackman, A True Journalist

I've had a few folks ask recently where I became a journalist and who my role models were.

Well, quite truthfully, I was born a writer. But a man named Arnold C. Brackman - "Brack", whose picture always sits near me - made me into a journalist.

You may not know the name. But if you've seen the movie, "The Last Emperor", you know his work. His book of this name served as the basis for the Bertolucci movie.

Bravely, Brack also wrote about the Toyko War Crimes Trials, about how the U.S. and Britain were complicit in the overthrow of secular governments in places like Indonesia that served - just as we did in Iran and elsewhere - to usher in extreme Islamist factions and brought the deaths of millions in bloody actions such as East Timor.

He also wrote about "The Gold of Tutankhamen" and "The Dream of Troy".

A long-time foxhole journalist with United Press (before UPI and Moonie-ownership), an editor with the Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, and Week In Reviw for The New York Times - among others - I was so lucky this very accomplished man decided to teach.

Brack said many things to me - including, "Chase, you can write the bloody Bible for all I care but if you don't get it in on deadline, it's NOT going in!" He really made me stretch myself because in addition to other responsibilities, he would force me to write sports news for the newspaper (I hate sports with a passion - Brack loved the stuff; his theory was that if he could turn me into a decent sports writer, more would enjoy the sports).

But chief among the Brack-ism, I remember these two:

- "What the ... bloody hell is an investigative journalist? If you aren't investigating, you AREN'T a bloody journalist! So don't give me this nonsense about investigative anything."

-"You want a WHAT? A graduate degree in journalism? What the... look [with a twinkle in his eye] if you want to do a graduate in journalism, get yourself a 100 lb typewriter and a pair of handcuffs. Then I'll chain you to the bloody typewriter and you write for two years."

Brack believed that to be called "a hack" was actually a great compliment. Why? Because it meant you were writing hard and often.

When he died not long after I graduated - and after I told him there was no way I could possibly continue risking my neck and happiness as a journalist and he railed at me, saying he would not allow me to do this - it broke my heart. But those of us who loved him did what he had once said he wanted done upon his death.

We went to one of his favorite bars and hoisted a few. Probably the only time I've ever had three drinks in my life.

Just writing about him brings tears to me eyes.

So when you hear me rage against what passes for journalism, and when you hear me praise journalists like Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher and what Helen Thomas at her age has tried so hard to do at the White House, you will understand if you read this that my standards for good journalism were set extremely high. Because of Brack, I cannot lower them even when I'm surrounded by... well, press releases and propaganda masquerading as journalism.

With what has gone on here and in the world just in the last six years, we need journalists more than ever. And yet, as is always so when the need is so severe, we have a situation - with the Bushies, et al - where it is extremely difficult if not deadly for journalists to do their work.

Love you, Brack. Always will.

How His Brian Williams Even Get His Tongue Around This?


That amount sounds like a Bushism.

The Bush Administration Merges With Rush Limbaugh and Fox News

Glenn Greenwald is on the case as Rush Limbaugh uses White House Liar Tony Snow as his guest host:

It only makes sense that the war hero Snow and his comrade-in-arms Limbaugh would have such an appreciation for the military because -- as Snow suggests -- they have devoted so much of their lives to military service, whereas Democrats like Jack Murtha, John Kerry, Wes Clark, Jim Webb, Patrick Murphy, Tammy Duckworth, Jay Fawcett and the rest of the cut-and-run, military-hating cowards (including the anti-Rumsfeld war critic Generals) don't understand the military the way Rush and Snow do. They hate the troops because they haven't "really spent enough time around" the military. Rush avoided the Vietnam draft under extremely suspicious circumstances (sometimes he claims it was due to a hurt knee and other times due to an anal cyst), but he visited Afghanistan, so he knows the hard, cold realities of war.Snow then explained that Americans have been turned against the Iraq war not because it's failed and wrong, but only because a propagandizing media only shows the bad things and hides the good things ("what they constantly get on television and newspapers is a failure narrative. They hear body counts, they don't hear about successes"). Americans suffer from a Marxist-type false consciousness about the war.

Biggest Election Disappointment Thus Far: Lieberman Projected Senate Winner in Connecticut

So Connecticut let the Republicans win there.

I would think Connecticut, my birth state, would know better. The sting of the corruption of John Rowland and the devastation of the wars Bush lied us into would almost suggest the nutmeg state should have taken a different course.

The Lieberman Connecticut has now is NOT the Lieberman they knew. He's far more beholden to special interest groups and to the Rove White House. Not good.

NBC just keeps calling Ned Lamont a "single issue" candidate like it's a tried-and-true fact. But it's not.

Well, what's the old saying? Hopefully the one Rich Tarrant is heeding tonight:

"You pays your money and you takes your chances."

The Corrupt Overseer of Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Loses Bid for Governor

Uber Republican Blackwell went down even faster in scandal-ridden Ohio than Kerry did on the questionable voting and almost as fast as Mark Foley solicited underage male pages while heading up the stop child exploitation effort in the House. ::cough::

For more on Blackwell Who Sold The 2004 Ohio Kerry Vote To The Bushies, go here (with thanks to Buzzflash for the link).

MoveOn: $250K Payout For Evidence of Election Fraud

See here.

Second Happiest Upset Of the Night So Far: Bye Bye Man-on-Dog-on-Gerbil-on-Cousin-Cougars-Having-Orgies-With-Penguins Rick Santorum

Bob Casey has been declared the winner in Pennsylvania's Senate race, taking out Smirking Santorum.

Perhaps Rick can get a job at Wal-Mart considering all the time he spends flying around on their corporate jets. No, not as a lobbyist. Perhaps as one of those Wal-Mart greeters.

Could someone make me even happier by telling me Diana Irey, whose campaign has besieged me there in the PA with awful attack stuff on Jack Murtha, has lost?

Behind The Blogging Eight Ball

Sorry so much time elapses between posts. Blogger has given me server error pretty steadily.

Happiest Win Of the Night: Bernie Sanders

Wow. With the unprecedented, humungous amount of money multi-multi millionaire Rich Tarrant - who did not even claim to reside in Vermont until he wanted to run - it was a delight to see Independent and one-time Socialist Bernie Sanders take the seat of the departing Jim Jeffords.

I've talked with a few of Bernie's staff; all of them deserve a huge amount of credit. While Tarrant ran some of the nastiest ads I've ever seen here, the Sanders crew remained a class act pretty much throughout.

While Jeffords has been all but forgotten in the media, Jim showed himself to be a gentleman and a true Vermonter in May, 2001 when he decided the extremist bent of the Bush-Cheney Republicans did not represent the needs of moderate GOPers so he booked.

It's also predicted that Peter Welch has pulled ahead - he sure wasn't always there - of former Vermont National Guard's Martha Rainville. Peter has proven himself (and again, almost no nasty ads) while Rainville could only point at rather weak accomplishments.

You Have to Love Fox News...

because anyone else simply wants them to stop pretending to be a news station and become Fox Cartoonz Network. O'Reilly and that idiot bimbo laughing through the deaths of the Afghan police yesterday would fit right in and finally, finally, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC would be able to become Bill O Jr. like he wants.

See this I got in email from TVNewser with Media Bistro. It's not just the chyron, it's the image of a stooped (instead of just his usual Stupe) Bush walking down the gangplank uh... well, as Bush would say, "that thing on the flying doohickus with stairs."

Ever literate, our president select.

Been There, Done That, Got The "I Voted" Sticker

How 'bout you?

Gee, There Are Voting Problems! Who Would Have Ever Guessed?

Yeah, really.

Remember: if you experience a problem yourself or you witness or learn of a problem that affects others, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

The democracy you save - eventually - could be your own.

Republicans' Latest Attempt to Suppress/Change The Vote

Buzzflash points us to the insidious robo calls the RNCC started over the weekend to get Indy and Democrat voters pissed by thinking they were getting dialed continuously by a Dem candidate's campaign... you had to listen to the whole thing to learn it was paid for by the RNCC.

Rahm Emmanuel says they will file lawsuits this week - after the election, of course, so the damage is done. But as Jonathan Alter of Newsweek pointed out on Keith Olbermann last night, some states allow for a $500 fee for EACH call, particularly made to people who opted onto the federal Don't Call list. This could run into tens of millions of dollars and a few have speculated it could at least temporarily bankrupt GOP coffers.

Cry me a river.

Please, Please Report Election Problems Immediately

The number to call is 1-866-OUR-VOTE which dials as 1-866-687-8683.

Don't wait.


Anyone care to offer some about what we'll see by this time tomorrow related to mid-term elections?

I've got a few predictions and not all of them make me happy. Love to hear some of yours, too.

  1. It will be early morning Wednesday before we have any great wisdom about where Capitol Hill majority lands.
  2. In fact, the last news you hear tonight about #1 will likely be contradicted when you wake up tomorrow.
  3. There will be upsets - as in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 - which deliver totally inexplicable results in some areas; each time, it will favor the Republican candidate. For example, Ricky Santorum may win in Pennsylvania where no self-respecting dog (I mean, Ricky is obsessed with bestiality! I've never heard anyone but him go on about it so loudly, so often) would vote for him.
  4. Nothing will be done to properly investigate the problems related to #2 and #3.
  5. Locally, I do expect Douglas (ugh) to retain the Vermont gubernatorial race, Dubie (dubie doo) as try-to-find-him-I-dare-you lt. governor, Bernie Sanders to U.S. Senate, Peter Welch (please - I've prayed to every god I know including Gu, the God of science fiction) for U.S. House.

Well, Voting Day Is Off To a Rousing Start!

Although I kept my pledge not to blog any more last night, I happened to read until about 5 this morning which would have been slightly OK if not for the fact that before 7 am, dogs everywhere are barking and there was this really loud pounding on a downstairs door we never use.

I creep out of bed and look through my half moon picture window to see this honking huge official looking car with lights and accessories engaged. Now, my house sits back a half mile or so from the road along a winding private entrance to the driveway so it's kinda hard to just accidentally come here.

So I step up onto my window to see if I can see who's knocking.

Oh, goodie. It's a cop! A large one. Granted, some might find him attractive but - I dunno - uniforms do nothing for me.

Now I'm just awake enough to start going through my list of relative recent transgressions. But man, I haven't even been late returning my library books!

Was it what I said about Governor Douglas last night? Or about IP's tire burn?

That call I made to Rove's office? Or the slightly snarkier one to the RNC to denounce their miserable, misbegotten robo calls to infuriate independent and Dem voters?

Thankfully, there are only 20 stairs from the bedroom to the solarium so I didn't have time to work up a full head of paranoia before I answered the door (albeit in my pjs - I don't do robes).

And then? It wasn't even anything interesting.

In fact, all it did was give me a vague migraine yet got me to work a couple hours early. ::yawn::

Hope your voting day is even less interesting.


When Next We Meet...

I've besieged you with information - and sarcasm, sorry, it's encoded in me like DNA - and Blogger is struggling to stay afloat with heavy posting it appears.

So I'm going to stop blogging until Voting Day.

Yes, that means I'll check back sometime after midnight (whether it's 12:01 AM or PM, I leave you to guess).

I will not ask anyone to vote a certain way. I simply will not.

All I will say is, again:

Your vote IS your voice.
On Tuesday, speak loudly and speak clearly.
Speak for yourself, your loved ones, your communities, state, nation, and world.

What More Can American Citizens Do For President Bush?

Hey, JFK may have coined, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country?" but the Bush Administration seems to have a way to make this happen!

From Joe at Hard-Boiled Dreams of The World tells us all about The Civilian Inmate Labor Program (maybe a breaking and entering charge will automatically send you to Iraq as a cop?):

File this one under Sounding More and More Like Nazis. From the U.S. Army’s own website, this 2005 document, The Civilian Inmate Labor Program, provides how-to guidelines for using military bases to lock up US citizens and put ‘em to work!
    This regulation provides guidance for establishing and managing civilian inmate labor programs on Army installations. It provides guidance on establishing prison camps on Army installations. It addresses record keeping and reporting incidents related to the Civilian Inmate Labor Program and/or prison camp Applicability. This regulation applies to the Active Army, the Army National Army management control process. Contents (Listed by paragraph and page number) Guard of the United States, and the U.S. Army Reserve unless otherwise stated.
Coupled with the massive detention camps Halliburton is building on US soil (contract worth $385 million—your tax dollars…) to prepare for martial law, and it looks like…well, draw your own conclussions.

"George Allen Put His Foot In His Mouth and Just Kept Sucking!"

This from Ana Marie Cox, now from Time online but formerly of Wonkette, on Scarborough Country. For a woman once so devoted to discussing ass fucking, she did manage to draw a laugh from me tonight.

Best Keith Olbermann Special Comment Yet: "Mr. Bush, Why Did You Take Us Into Iraq?"

[Ed: Yes, the formatting is fucked, but Blogger servers keep going down so... uh... in the words of Bush, "What the fuck you I care if you're inconvenienced as long as I'm havin' a good time!"]
"Sir, you have been making it up as you go along."
"Where are the checks and balances?"

Keith Olbermann just said, in his "Special Comment" at the end of MSNBC Countdown, what I think most Americans would like to say to Mr. Bush. This, particularly after Bush told us over the weekend that the Iraq war WAS about oil.

Go here for it all.

Sir, you have been making this up as you went along.

This country was founded to prevent anybody from making it up as they went along.

Those vaunted Founding Fathers of ours have been so quoted up, that they appear as marble statues: like the chiseled guards of China, or the faces on Mount Rushmore. But in fact they were practical people and the thing they obviously feared most was a government of men and not laws.

They provided the checks and balances for a reason.

No one man could run the government the way he saw fit -- unless he, at the least, took into consideration what those he governed saw.

A House of Representatives would be the people's eyes.

A Senate would be the corrective force on that House.

An executive would do the work, and hold the Constitution to his chest like his child.

A Supreme Court would oversee it all.

Checks and balances.

Where did that go, Mr. Bush?

And what price did we pay because we have let it go?

Saddam Hussein will get out of Iraq the same way 2,832 Americans have and thousands more.

He’ll get out faster than we will.

And if nothing changes tomorrow, you, sir, will be out of the White House long before the rest of us can say we are out of Iraq.

While Afghans Die, Fox News Staff Laughs At "Top Cock" Joke

When the bimbo reading news about how many cops of a region of Afghanistan, including the top cop, were killed, she slipped and said "top cock" which made all of Fox News laugh! In fact, viewers really did not hear the news of all those police deaths in Bush's Afghanistan because the bimbo was laughing with the "talent".


Bush Administration Can't Even Keep Nuclear Plans Safe At Los Alamos National Nuclear Lab

CBS News is describing the security breach at Los Alamos potentially devastating, including nuclear plans. These turned up in a drug raid.

Hell, the way the Bushies operate, they were the one selling the drugs to pay for nuclear material to plant in Iran. Yes, this is wild and wacky so I hardly state this as fact.

But what about Team Bush hasn't been lately?

As If They Didn't Foul Up Enough, Bush Administration Questions Scotland's Move Toward Indepence

Considering the Bush Administration has NO experience whatsoever in functioning in an independent nation (not given their raid on the U.S. Constitution and the Magna Carta where in the year 1215 the concept of habeas corpas came into being), I really don't think they should be giving advice to Scotland. Do you?

Remember all the happy horseshit about independence we got for Afghanistan and Iraq? Yet look what they do with Scotland:

THE US government has made a dramatic intervention into Scottish politics after a senior diplomat said the Bush administration would “probably” prefer independence not to happen.

Lisa Vickers, the new US consul in Scotland, questioned the effect of separation on American energy firms and criticised the SNP’s anti-Nato policy. She also speculated about whether an independent Scotland would become a member of the European Union.

The official’s comments are controversial because independence looks set to be one of the key issues during next year’s Holyrood election campaign.

An opinion poll last week found a majority of Scots favoured breaking up Britain and revealed the SNP was ahead in the popular vote.

The Nationalists’ flagship policy is to hold a referendum on independence during their first four-year term in government. Their election hopes were boosted in recent weeks by a £100,000 donation from businessman Sir Tom Farmer and encouragement from the leader of Scotland’s Catholics, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who said he expected independence “before too long”.

But the independence debate has taken an unexpected turn in the light of the comments made by Vickers, the US government’s “voice” in Scotland.

In an interview with the Sunday Herald, she said the US would “probably” prefer the UK to remain united and insisted there were “various elements” of the SNP’s independence policy that had not been fully explained.
Gee, I wonder what "our senator from Scotland", Arlen Specter has to say. [Clinton impeachment reference here; Specter voted no on impeachment.]

So What Was The Rove - Republican October Surprise?

Myblood asks an excellent question, the answer to which I have a couple of possible yet hardly definitive choices.

What do YOU believe was the Rove - GOP October Surprise? Please answer in Comments; I'd love to see what people have to say.

We know they got surprised a few times in October. And strangely, it was on nothing that should have come as a surprise to them whatsoever.

For All Americans: The Best Answer For The GOP's Favorite "It's Not a Democracy, It's a Republic!" Diatribe

(Hey, I only pull out words like "diatribe" when I'm pissed.)

Ed Weissman at Green Mountain Daily does a bang-up job. I'll give you a big snip, but visit his diary at Green Mountain Daily for the whole thing:

This is a republic not a democracy. Of all the right wing claims, this is the most insipid and meaningless. It not only reveals the right's contempt for democracy, but their basic inability to reason.

For something to be A and not B, A and B must be mutually exclusive. One can say, in a silly example: this is an elephant not an ant. Democracies and republics are not mutually exclusive. Democracy refers answers the question: who governs? Republic refers to the question: how is the head of state chosen? The opposite of a republic is a monarchy. In a republic, the head of state is chosen by some mechanism of choice. In a monarchy, the head of state is determined by some form of the hereditary principle. Forms of government can range from democracies to constitutional non-democracies to the authoritarian and to the totalitarian. All these forms of government can be found in republics in monarchies. Fascist Italy was a totalitarian regime with a monarch as the figurehead; Saudi Arabia is a totalitarian regime that can also be called an absolute monarchy. In either a republic or a monarchy, the head of state may either be a figurehead or also the head of government. Monarchies that are constitutional democracies include the UK, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia etc. Republics that are constitutional democracies with a figure head as head of state include Germany, Israel, India. Republics with a head of state who is also head of government include the US, Costa Rica, and South Africa. Constitutional democracies may be based on the parliamentary model or the Presidential. Although the President of South Africa is both head of state and head of government, the system is parliamentary.

That Isn't Autumn In The Air In Vermont

No, it's the God-knows-how-harmful huge test tire burn in Ticonderoga (NY) for International Paper. Jim Hogue of Calais is correct: Vermont should NOT be used as the guinea pig of IP.

And what kills me even more than trying to breathe is the fact that Vermont voters will once again return Jim Douglas, a true Bushie, to the capitol dome in Montpelier as governor.

Please. If you want to write to say you disagree about Jim Douglas being a Bush toadie, please effing save your breath. I've kept a very close watch on Governor Automaton, his "interests" and his vetoes, and it's just not gonna fly with me.

A True Yankee In King George's Court: Don't Get Kerryed Away

I really hope John Kerry never tries to run again for anything else except to get re-elected as senator in Massachusetts.

Really. He screwed in 2004 (not even in the Bill Clinton sort of technical non-screw sorta way) both in softball against Bush, in not contesting a virtually certain steal in Ohio, and then last week when he ran home after the GOP got Karl Rove on his case.

With that said, however, I still do not know how in hell:

  1. Kerry managed to mangle the joke even ad libbing, BUT
  2. Then how it was so deliberately misconstrued by everyone (which means the mass media had to help (of course)
  3. The Repugs, with so much crap they actually are responsible for, turned it into a multi-day feeding frenzy against Kerry
  4. No one rode Rumsfeld for his "go to war with the army you have rather than the one you want"
  5. No one even fucking noticed House majority criminal ... uh... majority leader John Boehner's remarks in the same time period.

What A Baghdad, Iraq Blogger Says About Saddam Hussein Verdict

Check out Baghdad Burning.

MUST READ Before You Vote

Find out what you need to know to be sure your vote counts (gets counted) tomorrow.

White House Pissing Itself Over The Army Times' (and every other branch) Call For Rumsfeld's Removal

Gee, it's amazing how these great Christians in the White House can call for the worst things possible only to whine, cry, and piss all over everyone when anyone criticizes any aspect of the Bush Administration.

However, the Army Times (as with the other branches) serves almost exclusively military families. Do they not have a right to an opinion? Especially given their men and women are fighting for that right?

The Times: Will Endorse NO Republican Candidates For Tuesday Vote

This is a big deal, and something the Ann Coulter and the Bill O'Reillys will scream about as "proof" that The New York Times is hopelessly liberal.

Talk to liberals - and even to many centrist Democrats - and we'll happily tell you how frequently The Times has happily toked on the tailpipe of the Repugs in Washington.

The name Judith Miller and "Look, There's WMD Everywhere!" comes to mind. Then there's their writer hopelessly in love with the Rove-Cheney-Bush White House.

Need more examples? I've got thousands.

More On Suicide of Army Soldier Alyssa Peterson Disturbed Over Nature of Iraqi Interrogations

I mentioned the case of this soldier, a young woman from Utah, last week after hearing about it on Democracy Now. I noted the article written in Editor&Publisher magazine by Greg Mitchell, who has been a stalwart, No-Koolaid journalist throughout the Bush wars (Afghanistan, Terror, Iraq, on public schools and health care, on the Middle Class, on anyone with a brain... I could go on).

At the time, I mentioned my concern that Peterson's death was not a suicide. After Pat Tillman, et al, how do we trust anything Rumsfeld's Pentagon releases? But concern is not overwhelming evidence.

Greg follows up this week with more details about Ms. Peterson's death that I believe is an important read.

Paul Krugman: "Limiting The Damage"

Krugman discusses the issues surrounding us before tomorrow's mid-term elections. Snip-snip here with more there.

President Bush isn’t on the ballot tomorrow. But this election is, nonetheless, all about him. The question is whether voters will pry his fingers loose from at least some of the levers of power, thereby limiting the damage he can inflict in his two remaining years in office.

There are still some people urging Mr. Bush to change course. For example, a scathing editorial published today by The Military Times, which calls on Mr. Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld, declares that “this is not about the midterm elections.” But the editorial’s authors surely know better than that. Mr. Bush won’t fire Mr. Rumsfeld; he won’t change strategy in Iraq; he won’t change course at all, unless Congress forces him to.

At this point, nobody should have any illusions about Mr. Bush’s character. To put it bluntly, he’s an insecure bully who believes that owning up to a mistake, any mistake, would undermine his manhood — and who therefore lives in a dream world in which all of his policies are succeeding and all his officials are doing a heckuva job. Just last week he declared himself “pleased with the progress we’re making” in Iraq.

In other words, he’s the sort of man who should never have been put in a position of authority, let alone been given the kind of unquestioned power, free from normal checks and balances, that he was granted after 9/11. But he was, alas, given that power, as well as a prolonged free ride from much of the news media.

The results have been predictably disastrous. The nightmare in Iraq is only part of the story. In time, the degradation of the federal government by rampant cronyism — almost every part of the executive branch I know anything about, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been FEMAfied — may come to be seen as an equally serious blow to America’s future.

And it should be a matter of intense national shame that Mr. Bush has quietly abandoned his fine promises to New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast.The public, which rallied around Mr. Bush after 9/11 and was still prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt two years ago, seems to have figured most of this out. It’s too late to vote Mr. Bush out of office, but most Americans seem prepared to punish Mr. Bush’s party for his personal failings. This is in spite of a vicious campaign in which Mr. Bush has gone further than any previous president — even Richard Nixon — in attacking the patriotism of anyone who criticizes him or his policies.

That said, it’s still possible that the Republicans will hold on to both houses of Congress. The feeding frenzy over John Kerry’s botched joke showed that many people in the news media are still willing to be played like a fiddle. And if you think the timing of the Saddam verdict was coincidental, I’ve got a terrorist plot against the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.
Emphasis mine.