Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Well, They Do Say Washington Is A Cesspool

Nobody in Congress was dirtier than Duke Cunningham, but this is beyond the pale (pail?). From TPM Muckraker:

...even [Brent] Wilkes drew a line on what he would do for the congressman. For one thing, Wilkes was totally disgusted by the hot tub Cunningham put on the boat's deck during the autumn and winter. What repelled Wilkes -- and others invited to the parties -- was both the water Cunningham put in the hot tub and the congressman's penchant for using it while naked, even if everybody else at the party was clothed. Cunningham used water siphoned directly from the polluted Potomac River and never changed it out during the season. "Wilkes thought it was unbelievably dirty and joked if you got in there it would leave a dark water line on your chest," said one person familiar with the parties. "The water was so gross that very few people were willing to get into the hot tub other than Duke and his paramour." That was a reference to Cunningham's most frequently seen girlfriend, a flight attendant who lived in Maryland.

Fitting, no?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

When The Obvious Becomes, Well, Obvious

There has been a shocking, shocking I tell you, revelation made by military commanders in Afghanistan. Apparently they now believe, after five years in country mind you, that the Taliban may be making money off the poppy trade. From CNN:

Profits from Afghanistan's thriving poppy fields are increasingly flowing to Taliban fighters, leading U.S. and NATO officials to conclude that the counterinsurgency mission must now include stepped-up anti-drug efforts.

This year's heroin-producing poppy crop will at least match last year's record haul and could exceed it by up to 20 percent, officials say, meaning more money to fuel the Taliban's violent insurgency.

"It's wrong to say that you can do one thing and not the other," Ronald Neumann, who recently stepped down as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said of the link between anti-drug and anti-terrorism efforts. "You have to deal with both at the same time."

Afghanistan accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's heroin supply, and a significant portion of the profits from the $3.1 billion trade is thought to flow to Taliban fighters, who tax and protect poppy farmers and drug runners.

Gee, you're fighting an insurgency in a country that provides 90% of the world, WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU EXPECT?

Now look, I understand that this is a little more complex than simply burning the fields down. Initially, we looked the other way when it came to poppy production because it is impossible to fight an insurgency with a restive population. Where we made the mistake was allowing the poppies to reach the heroin production process.

Right now, the simplest and most effective way to stop this is to burn down the fields, and pay the poppy farmers for their trouble as it is too late in the growing season for the farmers to grow something else. Then we must inform the poppy farmers that next year we will burn them down again with no payment to be made, however, if the farmers choose to grow food crops we will subsidize those crops. It would probably cost us about a half a billion a year.

When you consider how much money is spent worldwide on heroin interdiction and treatment, it is the cheapest half a billion we could ever spend. I'm sure we could even get other countries to pick up the tab.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fat Farm

Ah, it's always good to see key members of the Iraqi government doing their part to stabilize the country. From The Gulf Daily News:

BAGHDAD: Tired and battling obesity, Iraqi President JALAL TALABANI flew to the US yesterday for rest and help in tackling his weight problem. Talabani, in his early 70s, left from the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya in northeastern Iraq for a trip that could take several weeks.

His office denied local media reports that Talabani was suffering from any specific illness and said he was in general good health apart from his weight.

"I don't have any health problems except my obesity and I will treat it, God willing," Talabani said.

I once saw a show on rock climbing where the host advised people to train before they climbed. "Every pound you lose is a pound you don't have to drag up the mountain," the host said. Iraq is a little different, every inch you lose is an inch they can't shoot.

Seriously though, at $2 billion a week, couldn't we afford to throw in some fucking Jenny Craig Tuscan Beef Florentines?

Found via Juan Cole

Recess Is Canceled

Back in November, shortly after the election I wrote about the possibility of mass recess nominations to various positions that required Senate confirmation. From Me:

In fact, I really don't believe a single nominee for any post will go through the confirmation process for the duration of this administration. I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but that is the way I see it.

That has indeed been the Bush administration's modus operandi since the 110th Congress came into session. Harry Reid is having no more of it. From TPM:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a little trick up his sleeve that could spell an end to President Bush's devilish recess appointments of controversial figures like former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton. We hear that over the long August vacation, when those types of summer hires are made, Reid will call the Senate into session just long enough to force the prez to send his nominees who need confirmation to the chamber. The talk is he will hold a quickie "pro forma" session every 10 days, tapping a local senator to run the hall.

Senate workers and Republicans are miffed, but Reid is proving that he's the new sheriff in town.

Now I have to wonder if any positions will be filled for the last two years of the Bush presidency.

The Immigration Bill

While I think that comprehensive immigration reform is the way to go, I have some serious problems with some of the details of the Senate's version of this bill.

First of all, dump the merit system. We already have a way for those immigrants to come to the US, the H1B visa. Adding a merit system to the new Z visa seems to me simply a way to subvert the prevailing wage requirement of the H1B. Why bring someone in on a H1B, when you can hire someone on a Z visa and pay them half their worth? No, add more H1Bs if these are the people we wish to attract. This portion of the bill would have terrible ramifications for the middle class in this country and should be stripped. These visas should be for lesser skilled immigrants who are currently doing the work Americans will not do.

Next, dump the "tag up" portion of the bill. Who the hell is going to do all of this work while these people are in their home country "tagging up" to return to the US? It strikes me as undo-able and will disrupt the country's growth while making the transition.

Instead, I would like to see current illegals to sign up for the Z visa, which in my mind should be issued in six month increments for a period of five to ten years. This would help us keep track of any immigrants that get off the track, and weed out those who do not meet these standards. After which, the immigrant would be able to apply for green card status, and from there get on the traditional path to citizenship. This would instill continuity during the transition period in the labor pool that most illegal immigrants fill.

Yes, I'm aware that most conservatives would cry amnesty at that, but to be honest, I think some of those conservatives would call anything short at them getting a free shot at departing immigrants with a baseball bat at the deportation station amnesty.

Also, I would like to see the fines lowered. I would say $1,000 for an individual, and an additional $3,000 for that individual to bring their immediate family into the country. At that point, everyone in the family would be able to work if these are over the age of sixteen. If we are going to bring in immigrants, their families should be allowed reunification, and if that family wants to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they should be allowed to try.

Oh, and while we are at it, if we are going to have comprehensive immigration reform, let's get rid of the dumbest immigration policy we have: Wet foot, Dry foot. Either set a quota on the number of Cubans that we will allow into the country as political refugees or don't allow in any.

Finally, we have to finally get serious about enforcement in both border security and on the employer side.

As a side note, Brian Bilbray (R-CA) had the funniest line about this debate on CNN's Late Edition over the weekend. After noting that both Tom Tancredo and Maxine Waters both supported the bill he was in favor of, he said, "That's not bipartisan, that's bipolar."

Silent Justice

While I have always thought that Clarence Thomas simply waited to ask Scalia how to vote after each case, I didn't know it was this obvious. Since the beginning of the October, 2004 term, when transcripts began identifying justices by name, Thomas has uttered a grand total of 281 words from the bench.

Perhaps Tom Coburn will buy him a crossword puzzle book.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Delusions Of Grandeur

A few weeks ago, I got a pretty good laugh reading about the National Day of Prayer put on by James Dobson's wife, Shirley, on the White House lawn. From The Washington Post via Jesus' General:

Organizers put out 600 folding chairs on the lawn -- the spot where presidents are inaugurated -- and set up a huge stage with powerful amplifiers. But at 9:30 a.m. yesterday, not one of the 600 seats was occupied. By 11 a.m., as a woman read a passage from Revelations, attendance had grown -- to four people. Finally, at 1 p.m., 37 of the 600 seats were occupied, though many of those people were tourists eating lunch.

Lest you think DC is a godless town, the atheists protesting across the street only drew six people themselves. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the event's spokesperson was former male prostitute and former member of the White House Press Corps Jeff Gannon.

But now I understand why they thought they needed so many chairs. In their minds, virtually everyone in the United States is a fan. From CNN:

Dobson's organization says his daily radio program is heard by as many as 220 million listeners over 3,500 stations in the United States. He's also seen on 80 television stations, and 10 Focus on the Family magazines have 2.3 million subscribers, the group says.

As for those listener numbers, they represent a full two-thirds of the American population. That's not surprising, how do you get away from hearing the program because apparently his radio program appears on one out of every three radio stations in the United States. How have I never heard it? To be fair, it appears CNN screwed this up.

Found via TPM, follow this link to learn of Christian feats of strength.

Taming The Appetite Of Blogger

Blogger has a new feature where it automatically saves your posts as you go which should be a great help to me. As you can probably tell, I write these posts on the fly, with no editing, spellcheck them and post them. As a result of this I've had blogger eat quite a few of my posts when I tried to upload them to the blog.

For instance, I though I lost the post I wrote yesterday about torture and the right when I attempted to post it and received the Google error message. I was fortunate that I was able to recover it. You, on the other hand were not fortunate because you had to read that drivel, ha!

Running Wolf

It's official, Paul Wolfowitz is gone, or at least he will be by the end of June. The bank has accepted his resignation and added that he acted "ethically and in good faith." Whatever.

Let's take a look at where Wolfowitz screwed up. It was when he took the job. If you are offered a job where your girlfriend is going to have to report to you, there are only three things you can do. You either pass on the job, or you make the board reassign her before you come on to the payroll, or she quits. That's it, period. There is no other ethical way to handle the situation.

Wolfowitz went another way and it came back to haunt him. For that reason alone, he is entirely to blame for what happened to him.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sam Herd Update

Hey, did I mention that I haven't ran into Sam Herd in the last week?


Former Marine Corps commandant Charles C. Krulak and former CENTCOM commander in chief Joseph P. Hoar jointly pen an op-ed in today's Washington Post on torture. From reading this piece I get the feeling that they were as appalled at the republican presidential debate as I was. From the Washington Post:

The American people are understandably fearful about another attack like the one we sustained on Sept. 11, 2001. But it is the duty of the commander in chief to lead the country away from the grip of fear, not into its grasp. Regrettably, at Tuesday night's presidential debate in South Carolina, several Republican candidates revealed a stunning failure to understand this most basic obligation. Indeed, among the candidates, only John McCain demonstrated that he understands the close connection between our security and our values as a nation.

What they don't mention in the op-ed is that the republican crowd viewing the debate also not only failed to understand that basic obligation, they reveled in it. Mitt Romney received one of the loudest cheers from the crowd when he suggested that he would be the strongest in using enhanced interrogation techniques on captured combatants. This got me thinking, did Romney go far enough for this crowd. Would they have cheered even louder if he would have said the T word? I'm not sure they wouldn't.

Now, the question that prompted these responses was very specific and extremely improbable. This may make you somewhat uncomfortable, but given the situation described, there is no person currently running or about to be running on either side of the aisle who would not authorize these techniques given the short time frame allowed, save perhaps Dennis Kucinich. Would it work to save American lives? Maybe, maybe not.

And that may have been what the republican candidates were saying, but it certainly wasn't what the crowd was hearing. No, the authoritarians in the crowd were hearing was what to them were dog whistle phrases that they took to mean as Romney and the others were perfectly content with wide scale torture. They've been trained, much like a cult to hear these things and believe they mean something else. It is very troubling.

So, what causes the authoritarian right to not only endorse but crave torture? Is it fear? No. Fear is the reason the sheep might wobble from side to side, but sheep don't attend republican primary debates a year before the primary. These are not sheep. I can only conclude one thing. These are people who simply do not believe in the basic tenet that all men are created equal. This is what allows them to disallow rights to minorities and gays in this country, and if you're a foreigner, you can only imagine what they think of you.

And I don't believe they do this out of a sense of superiority, but rather a sense of entitlement. Seeing this, it is no wonder that republicans regularly run up victories in the South, which has a distinct history of not treating all men as equal. When someone tries to infringe on their sensed of entitlement they must be stopped whether they are trying to gain equal rights or just being a little too stingy with their natural resources. How many times have you heard one of them say, "Why don't we just nuke them and take the oil?"

It is because they do not value anyone's lives but their own little clique. Everyone else, including the troops, including firemen, including policemen, are simply seen as lubrication for their lifestyle to be discarded in various Walter Reeds when that lubrication becomes a little too gritty.

I'd like to mention one other thing about the above referenced article. Several of the commenters to that article on the Washington Post website have asked why we should afford enemy combatants protections they don't offer us. It is simple really. When you are fighting an enemy and you're troops know they have to fight to the death to avoid torture or worse, and the other side knows that it will be okay if they give up, that is a hell of a force multiplier, one which we have lost. And to those who say they never give up, we sure have captured a lot of them, haven't we?

Who Wants To Bamboozle?

So, which right wing hack is going to be the first to cite this New York Times article as proof that Saddam had WMD when the current Iraq War started?

What the article actually says is that we may have inadvertently exposed our own troops to sarin gas after the first Gulf War when we demolished some old Iraqi arms. In fact, we may have exposed as many as 100,000 troops to low levels of sarin. The story looks at a study which may explain Gulf War Syndrome.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

He's Going The Distance

Nope, he's going home. Wolfowitz set to resign this afternoon. Bye-bye Wolfie. Hope he didn't get that bonus check.

Also not going the distance, Prince Harry will not serve in Iraq.

Dinosaurs Must Die

Ah, some really good news for those of you that are into buying your music digitally. is going to start selling digital downloads, and they're selling the good ones, the one with no DRM so you can use the tracks you buy any way you want. From the NY Times:

Amazon, the Internet’s most successful seller of physical CDs, today announced plans to introduce a music download store later this year, selling songs and albums in the MP3 format without the anti-copying protection used by most online music retailers.

Selling songs as MP3 files means that customers can transfer their music without limits to any computer, cellphone or music playing device, including Apple’s iPod and Microsoft’s Zune.

The music will be from a major label, EMI, and 12,000 independent music companies that have chosen not to use the copy-restricting software known as digital rights management, or D.R.M.“We are offering a great selection of music that our customers love in a way they clearly desire, which is D.R.M.-free, so they can play it on any device they own today or in the future,” said Bill Carr, Amazon’s vice president for digital media.

David Card, an analyst at JupiterResearch, said Amazon’s store would immediately position Amazon as a serious rival to Apple and its popular iTunes service. “We’ve been waiting for Amazon to be a serious player in digital music for some time,” he said. “They know how to sell music and this is a powerful endorsement of the MP3 strategy.”

The other major labels have so far balked at selling their catalogs in this manner. They will only offer their music with copyright protections that limit the actual tracks usage.

I don't find it shocking that the other labels are not willing to go along with this at this time. They have been lagging behind the curve for a long time when it comes to digital music.

I do have a warning for them though. This is just the first step for Amazon. It isn't going to take them long to figure out that they don't need the major labels. After all, why throw them some money when you're doing the heavy lifting. After all, why can't Amazon become the label and guarantee the artists and themselves for that matter a larger share of the money.

The majors can hang on for a while, of course, they have large catalogs and already signed artists. But those labels have drug their feet for too long. Kill them. Kill them now.

Abu Gonzales' Classmates Write A Letter

This appeared in today's Washington Post. Click to enlarge.

The Circular Ineptitude Of Bush's Middle East Policy

Ah, remember Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian group Fatah. Declared a terrorist group by the Bush administration, Bush refused to negotiate with him nor allow the Israelis to do any real negotiation either. Well, the old man died, but the movement continued on with Mahmoud Abbas.

Since Abbas was new blood and the Bush administration figured he could consolidate power, they cheered on the free elections which, much to the Bush administration's surprise, were dominated by the immensely popular Hamas. Even though Hamas attained a clear majority in the Palestinian parliament, Abbas managed to get elected President of the Palestinian territories.

Shocked by the results of the election, the Bushies moved to cut off funding to the Palestinian territories and urged others to follow suit, which they indeed did. This lack of funding led to societal divisions among the Palestinians.

So now, as these divisions deepen and the territories drift toward civil war, what do you think the Bushies are going to do now?

If you guessed sending arms to Fatah through proxies in Jordan and Egypt, ding, ding ding! Give yourself a pat on the back because that is exactly what the Bushies are doing even as you read this.

So, in the eyes of the administration, Fatah has gone from a group we won't talk to because they are a threat to Israel to a group that we are arming to fight a civil war for the right to oppose Israel. I'm sure none of these arms will end up in the wrong hands and be used against Israel, aren't you?

I believe the neocons call this synergy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Dies

Nothing to add. Just passing it on.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007


I went to a fundraiser last night for Jerid from Buckeye State Blog who is raising money to spend next summer following the presidential candidates around New Hampshire. I'm not sure how much he raised last night, but it seemed pretty well attended. I threw a couple of fifties on the pile. If you are interested in finding out more about this project or helping out follow this link.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jesus, It's Freaking May

IT's more than three weeks until the official start to hurricane season and we already have out first named storm. It's subtropical storm Andrea with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. No threat to anyone, but what the hell?

This Is Scary

Check out this exchange between Charlie Rose and Condi Rice. From Think Progress:

ROSE: I sense — and you can tell me this is absolutely wrong — that the Administration and you as the point person are looking for a strategy for the United States to exit from Iraq.

RICE: No, we’re looking for a strategy that is going to do what we went there to do, which is to help the Iraqis create a more stable environment, lay a foundation for democracy and national reconciliation to evolve in Iraq, and to leave an Iraq or to have an Iraq that is able to defend itself and secure itself.


RICE: So our friends in the neighborhood need to know and the Iraqis need to know that we are not looking to leave Iraq. That’s not why this President went into Iraq and it’s not how –

ROSE: Ever?

RICE: Charlie, we are not going to leave an Iraq that is not capable of defending itself and with a foundation for future reconciliation.

ROSE: Do you believe you’ll have the support of the American people to do that?

RICE: I think that the American people are looking for progress and so are we.


ROSE: But nobody can answer the question: If it doesn’t happen, what?

RICE: Charlie, because as the President said to you, we’re focused on having it happen.

Yea, don't worry Charlie, We've got the number one fuck-up in the free world, George Bush, on the case, and nothing he ever touches turns to shit.

To make a baseball analogy, if George was the manager of the '27 Yankees, he could have brought that team in for a last place finish, and that would have been hard to do. But George Bush understands that things are hard to do, I've heard him say so.

So, no Charlie, we're never leaving, but we did just get a great deal on body bags.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Terror! Terror! Terror!

Oh no, how could this be! Apparently the FBI has broken up a terrorist cell in New Jersey. But I don't understand. Dear Leader told me that if we were not fighting them over there, that they would follow us here. But we are fighting over there and apparently it has nothing to do with their ability to come over here. I'm so confused.

I thought that there was no way they could get out from under our thumb in Iraq, where we have them pinned down. Clearly, the Iranians smuggled them out of Iraq, put them on a drone aircraft where they rode to the Jersey shores ala Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. It is the only way possible, because we're fighting them there, so they can't come here!

Seriously, kudos to the FBI for stopping these guys, although at this time it is unclear that they had any operational abilities.

C: All Of The Above

It looks like Multiple Choice Mitt's failure to raise his hand to deny he believed at the debate the other night has set off some of the alarms bells from the conservative purists. When pressed on the issue by conservative Christian David Brody, Romney issued a statement through a spokesman that said, "Governor Romney believes both science and faith can help inform us about the origins of life in this world."

In other words, Romney chose "all of the above." This has to be a particular slap in the face to conservative Christians who opened up their checkbooks in the first quarter of this year to a tune of $23 million, only to have one of their pet issues thrown back at them like a used towel.

Brody, isn't impressed with Romney's clarification. From CBN News:

With all due respect, what does that mean exactly? It leaves me with more questions. I have asked for further clarification which I assume will be forthcoming here at the Brody File. I have now asked the Romney campaign specifically if he believes in Darwin's theory of Evolution or does he take the Creationist view? The answer above suggests that he may believe in both. I'm not saying he does. I'm just saying I'm a tad bit confused by the answer.

Here's the key point. The majority of Born Again Evangelicals take the Creationist viewpoint. Some Evangelicals already have concerns about Romney's Mormon faith. He needs support from Evangelicals to win. That's why this issue is an important one that needs to be cleared up. I don't think this is an issue that Romney can avoid. I believe his views need to be clear.

Get used to it Brody, this guy views strictly adhere to "what will get me votes today?"

And to be honest, at least he isn't talking about Mormons in space today.

Found via TPM

Monday, May 07, 2007


ABC's local DC affiliate took a look at the DOJ Civil Rights Division's hiring practices and the results are in. From TPM Muckraker:

The I-Team has learned that since 2003...the criminal section within the Civil Rights Division has not hired a single black attorney to replace those who have left. Not one.

As a result, the current face of civil rights prosecutions looks like this: Out of fifty attorneys in the Criminal Section - only two are black. The same number the criminal section had in 1978 - even though the size of the staff has more than doubled.

I could go on and on about this but I think I'll let Kanye West field this one.

Oh, and laughably note this: The Justice Department responded to WJLA-TV's story by saying that the Civil Rights Division as a whole is the most diverse office in the Department of Justice.

Women And The Base

Today, Atrios points to a Tom Schaller article in the Baltimore Sun from last week. Schaller confirms a lot of what I have been saying on this blog for the last couple of years. First, that the actual number of swing voters is very small. Second, that single women are the greatest number of unmined voters for the Democratic party. However, I do think that he gets one part of his message wrong. That is, how to get your soft support to show up. Schaller writes:

For starters, the major parties' appeals to centrist voters will become less effective and efficient, and should be de-emphasized in favor of a strategy that favors identifying and mobilizing base voters.

Republicans figured this out years ago. Before the 2000 recount had concluded, Bush campaign pollster Matt Dowd wrote Karl Rove a game-changing memo in which Mr. Dowd marveled that the center of the American electorate had disappeared. They had expected split-ticket voters to account for about one-quarter of the electorate, but the figure was closer to 6 percent.

Mr. Rove promptly announced he would target for mobilization millions of evangelicals who did not turn out to vote in 2000.

After the 2006 elections, one might expect Democrats to respond in kind. Their victories were fueled by votes from their base: union families and households, women, nonwhite voters and younger voters.

Indeed, if Democrats are looking for their counterpart to the evangelical vote, they should turn to unmarried women: They are a majority of American women, they will soon be a majority of female voters, and when they vote, they vote overwhelmingly Democratic. But millions remain unregistered.

Schaller says the number of swing voters is six percent, I've been saying seven, but I'm not going to split hairs about that. He is right about single women, but there are not many institutions out there that they participate in to get our message out to them and mobilize them, so another route must be taken.

One way to do that is through television, and there are two ways to reach them. One, is through Oprah. With her guy, Barack Obama running in this coming presidential election, I expect her to push voting on her show to help in registering women voters. She may or may not openly campaign for Obama, but she knows that in the general election these women will vote for him if he is chosen the nominee.

An overlooked way to reach women voters is through advertising on the Lifetime network and its sister networks. If I was a Democratic contender I would run ads there right now. Specifically, if I were Obama, who has the lowest name ID, I would be running one minute introduction ads right now. You get hits nationally, and as far as advertising goes, it's relatively cheap.

Where I think Schaller gets it wrong though, is when he talks about mobilizing the vote. A look at the last three even numbered year elections here in Ohio can be very instructive when thinking about this. In 2002, the Democratic Party gave the republicans a gift in the name of Tim Hagan. It was a blowout. If you look at the number of votes Hagan got, it gives us a fairly good idea of how many Democratic base voters there are. That number is 1,236,924. We will bump that number up a little bit to 1,400,000 because the Ohio Democratic Party is far more engaged today than it was then.

Now, in 2006, the republican party returned the favor in the name of Ken Blackwell. Blackwell received 1,474,285 votes. That is an accurate reflection of the republican base.

In 2008, it will take around 2,900,000 votes to win Ohio's delegates for the presidential election. That means both sides will have to come up with another 1,500,000 voters to win. Granted, because it is a presidential election, probably 70% of the number needed will show up for the fact that they always vote in presidential, but getting that last 30% is the trick to winning. We will call them tier II voters. The problem with Schaller's logic is that while most of the remaining voter to tend to stay on one side of the aisle or the other, they are not motivated by the same things that the actual base is motivated by.

These people tend to be motivated by what we call kitchen table issues such as the how the economy is treating them. If you want to win you need to craft a message that gets them off their seats and into the voting booths. Luckily, in 2008, the kitchen table issues appear to be on our side. They are ripe for the plucking, you just need to adjust you message to get them. The base will always vote, the tier II voters are the ones you need to work on.

George Bush The Uniter

Well, it looks like George Bush and the modern republican party have succeeded in uniting the American people on one thing. That being the hatred of George Bush and the modern republican party. In the latest Newsweek poll, only 24% of registered voters identify themselves with the republican party. If you look at the public in general, that number drops to 22%. The Democratic numbers are 36% and 35% respectively.

And if you look at the way Independents have been breaking lately towards the Democrats, the republicans are in real trouble. All this occurs with the deck stacked against us, but if we can keep this momentum to the end of the decade, our gains at the state and local level should allow us to redistrict a lot of districts to make them more winnable. The bottom line is that there are at least another 25-30 seats out there in the US House that we can pick up.

Friday, May 04, 2007

News You Can Use

Here in Ohio, there is a statewide crackdown on speeding this weekend with City Police, County Sheriffs, and the State Highway Patrol all getting in on the act. A County Sheriff has pulled over three people in front of work in just the last hour.

Don't say you weren't warned.

A Message To You, Rudy

Although I didn't watch the republican debate last night, all I've heard about today is that Rudy is A-OK with abortion, well that, and if Zombie Reagan could drag his old bones out of the ground he would totally win!

Anyway, I got the opportunity yesterday to listen to Richard Viguerie, the legendary conservative activist, on the radio yesterday. His take on the candidates was that he really didn't care much for any of the republican candidates, but was open to some, but said in no uncertain terms, if Rudy Giuliani win the republican nomination he would tear the republican party to the ground. (Not exact quote, but close)

So, Rudy has managed to piss off the theocrats, as well as the staunch traditional conservatives, yet he leads in the polls. That leads me to believe that his supporters are among the less active republican voters. In other words, he leads on soft support, and soft support gets you one thing in a primary. Killed.

Grumpiest Old Man

You kids get off my lawn!!! And I'm keeping your Frisbee!!!

Tightening Noose

The steam kettle that is the US Attorney's scandal is now well past whistling, it seems it's ready to blow. Somebody is going to roll, and right now my money is on former Counsel to the Attorney General and White House Liaison Monica Goodling. The Justice Department seems to know this as well. They have initiated their own investigation into Goodling.

Goodling and her attorney, John Dowd, found out about the investigation from a press release from the DOJ, and they are not happy about it. Dowd fired a letter off to express their displeasure. Here is the last paragraph. From TPM:

What disturbs us most is that the Department chose to make its announcement about Ms. Goodling in the midst of Congress's ongoing investigation into the Department's affairs, and less than two weeks after the House Judiciary Committee passed a resolution authorizing the House General Counsel to apply for an order of immunity for Ms. Goodling. The timing of your release smacks of retribution and intimidation.

This is where it gets sticky. The House Judiciary Committee authorized Goodling's immunity, but the DOJ must approve it, and Dowd asserts that they may not block it with a parallel investigation. They may however delay it for 20 days. The bottom line is that Goodling is going to tell the Justice Department to go pound sand and will assert the Fifth in their investigation. What she will tell Congress, is quite another thing however, it could be anything.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Orin Hatch: Complete Moron

I haven't had much time to blog lately as our company is running at about 195% capacity, but I just heard Orrin Hatch on Washington Post Radio and it pretty much made me want to throw the speakers out the window.

First Hatch complained and complained about the how Washington has gotten too damn partisan. Tough luck. It sure didn't seem to be a problem for the last few years when the republicans were in charge. No, Hatch and the others all bellied up to the trough to get their fill.

Secondly, Hatch paraded about that tired old story that if we leave Iraq, the terrorists will follow us here. That is simply bullshit. It isn't like we have these people pinned down in Iraq. In fact, the opposite is true. Damn near ten percent of that country have simply left it, just walked out the door. Do you really think anyone there who wishes to do us harm here can't simply do the same thing.

This brings me to a question. Did Hatch say these things as a partisan talking point? Or is he totally bereft of any knowledge of fighting terrorism?

Look, you don't stop terrorism with a large scale military incursion. In a way, the war on terror is a lot like the war on drugs, that is, it's not a war at all. It is a police action. Yes, you may need some small task forces of special operation types to go to some nasty places and do nasty things to nasty people, but large scale uses of force don't work because along the way you get bogged down by the numerous distractions that those uses of force bring.

It is also fought through interdiction, and the intelligence that allows you the chance to do so. These are things the republican party has woefully neglected though not securing neither our borders nor our ports, not to mention the fact that we our used a good deal of our intelligence assets to prepare for and a few to conduct the unnecessary Iraq War.


Just in case you are wondering why in the world Paul Wolfowitz thinks he can keep his job, you're not alone. In fact, I believe Wolfowitz himself doesn't believe it.

What Wolfie does believe is that he can hang on for another month. Reportedly, if he makes it to June 1st, he is due a $400,000 tax free bonus. I think that after he gets the cash, he'll slink off into the night, hopefully never to be heard from again.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007