Howard Dean: Now, the Republicans are making a "good faith effort" to convince the Americans that this is a do-nothing Congress, that we haven't done anything. First of all, they're filibustering everything we can do. If we get it by the filibuster, then the president threatens to veto it, or he does veto it. So, let me tell you what we've done in spite of the president. In the last six months we have accomplished more than they did in six years: increasing the minimum wage, make college more affordable, healthcare for kids is going to pass, and if the president vetos it, the Republicans are going to have to atone for that on election day. Passing the 9-11 recommendations to make our communities safer--they talk about being strong, we actually do it--passing real ethics reform. The United States Senate is going to pass it today--let's see if the president will sign that. Passing a balanced budget requirement with pay-go requirements so there will be no tax cuts or new programs without saying how we're going to pay for them. We'll put an end to the notion that we're going to borrow money from our grandchildren in order to pay for what we want today. I think that's a pretty good accomplishment for six months. (Applause.)
Saturday, August 4, 2007
More from Howard Dean's Yearly Kos keynote address. Part 1 can be found here.
The video can be found here.
Dams (D+) Since 1998, the number of unsafe dams has risen by 33% to more than 3,500. While federally owned dams are in good condition, and there have been modest gains in repair, the number of dams identified as unsafe is increasing at a faster rate than those being repaired. $10.1 billion is needed over the next 12 years to address all critical non-federal dams--dams which pose a direct risk to human life should they fail. ...
As usual, Jonathan Schwarz puts this lunacy in its proper perspective:
A country that can’t keep its bridges from collapsing is not going to be running the world very much longer. That’s the interesting thing about the standard historical trajectory of imperial elites…at a certain point they either (1) forget the power they can wield outside their country ultimately derives from a healthy society beneath them, or (2) understand that but decide they’d rather be comparatively more powerful within a poorer society and less powerful outside.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins have a new baseball stadium that cost over half a billion dollars. Gee, can you say "irony", boys and girls?
Friday, August 3, 2007
This morning I attended a Yearly Kos session entitled "Evolution and Integration of the Blogosphere", a self-congratulatory panel moderated by Chris Bowers (late of MyDD), featuring Tracy Russo (blogger for John Edwards' campaign), Ali Savino (Center for Independent Media), the Big Blue Smurf, Amanda Turkel (ThinkProgress), Amanda Marcotte (Pandagon), and Matt Stoller (late of MyDD).
Originally posted at My Left Wing
And it's occurred to me that we're using the wrong parenting technique on these kids. We're using a lot of threats ("If you do/say this, I won't vote for you") and threats only get you so far. You end up having to get more intense and more blustery with them, and eventually you have to back them up. And if "I won't vote for you" is all you've got, you run out of ammo pretty quickly.
CARTOON OF THE WEEK
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Everyone else? They are looking at Edwards or maybe Obama. Yet for Obama they tend to sneak in the caveat of "I still don't know what he stands for. Unless he clear that up soon, I will be supporting Edwards." Also, support for those two slips away if Al Gore kicks his hat in the ring.
The other problem that continues to swirl around people I know is that of "getting out the vote." If Hillary does win the nomination, everyone I know will vote for her, but there is not a lot of volunteerism being vocalized. No where near the level that I saw in the 2006 mid-term election. The 2006 GOTV movement was huge, larger than I have seen since back in my Perot days. There is something about Hillary that just doesn't encourage folks hitting the street and getting the word out for her. And if her GOTV is weak, it will influence the GOTV for the House and Senate races that will be VITAL in 2008.
Yes, people will vote for her, but while holding their noses. That kinda attitude does not drive people to blow all their weekends knocking on doors, enduring cold November rains to had out brochures at polls or spend hours away from the family at a phone bank begging people to "Vote Hillary or Else."
You don't see that with John Edwards.
If you look past the polls, Edwards is the leader on the issues. I would say he is dragging the rest of the field with him.
When he challenges other candidates to raise the minimum wage, he gets thunderous applause. Other candidates get that level of applause, but only when they snark off about Bush.
Edwards all seems to be revamping his campaign. Gone are the button-down, adviser steered campaign days of 2004, Edwards has placed himself in the hands of the people.
Still, he is in the shadow of Obama and Hillary and he knows it. I think it has a specific effect on Edwards that a lot of people are not noticing - it is making him smarter, more daring and, should I even say this, it has given him a spine.
Yep, that is USDA Grade "A," organic, grain-fed, free-range SPINE with no GMO's or antibiotics. That could catch on.
Fox, CBS Reject Trojan Condom-Promotion Commercial
Fox and CBS recently rejected a television commercial for Trojan condoms, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, the commercial, which premiered Monday night, features women at a bar surrounded by pigs. When one pig goes to the restroom and returns with a condom purchased at a vending machine, he is transformed into an attractive man. The end of the commercial carries the message: "Evolve: Use a condom every time."
For some reason, this distasteful example of blatant and irresponsible hypocrisy got me to thinking about porno flicks. Really.
If you're going to watch bad XXX-rated movies, I think you better have patience, an open mind, a strong gag reflex, a healthy sense of skepticism, and a bulletproof ego. If you don’t, it’s going to be very, very depressing. Unless you own a Schwarzenneger-type body, a gargantuan cock, and the sexual stamina of the Energizer Bunny, it's impossible to compete with the guys "acting" in them. Your feeble erotic dreams are a fly crashing into the hard Windshield of Reality. Sorry, no pizza delivery gal wearing high heels and tits bigger than her head is showing up at your front door anytime soon.
In short, pornographic film actors are usually lousy role models. But, to be fair, there's one thing that they do correctly that their counterparts in the "legitimate" movie industry doesn't do.
They use condoms.
In the vulgar and brainless world of pornography (that never pretends even for a minute to be realistic), the majority of the guys fucking are using condoms. Yes, I know there a few that advertise "bareback" sex, but in those films the actors are extensively tested for STDs and HIV beforehand, and then are required to sign legal documents absolving the producers of liability. In mainstream television shows and movies, you'll see celebrities having fake sex most of the time, but condoms simply don't exist.
But it's O.K. for Jack Bauer to torture people in front of your kids. (Hey, that dirty Muslim swine deserved it anyway.)
So, you tell me, who's being more irresponsible? Who's teling the bigger lie?
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I'm aware that the Yearly Kos convention is beginning today. While I'm not a fan of the proprietor of the big orange blog it is named for, I am a fan of grassroots organizing. And of getting the opportunity to meet, in person, people who have previously been only words on a computer screen. I look forward to hearing some great stories.
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At this point, anyone who is terrified of the impeachment process (unless you are IN the Bush Administration) should just admit you are not willing to fight for our democracy, and that includes Nancy Pelosi.
What's the meme this week? We don't have enough votes? Big deal. I say we have the US House go through the evidence process (and NO, Gonzales ain't what I am talking about) and present the laundry list of BushCo's "high crimes and misdemeanors." Plus, hold those hearings during Prime Time and have Nancy do her job and oversee the proceedings. Let the Republicans spend all their time supporting Bush and defending his crimes. Let it go on for hours and hours. Let is stretch on into week. Hell, start this during the "recess," they got nothing else to do.
Let the process continue just to remind everyone what all we have lost, where our money went, how it was really stolen.
Do you not prosecute a murderer just because he has a great lawyer? No, even though you might lose, you still prosecute the case. You do the right thing.
And if we lose, we lose, but we will have tried Bush in Congress and in the Court of Public Opinion. Now let the GOP try to distance themselves from Bush for the 2008 elections. They will have publicly forgiven and sitting President of treason, war crimes and fraud just for their political gain.
With Bush's 25% approval rating, you can't go wrong... unless you are French. ;-)
I-35W bridge collapses over Mississippi River; 7 dead
The Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed this evening, plunging dozens of vehicles into the water, killing seven people and injuring more than 60.
Sometimes doing nothing is worse than doing something bad. And there's been lots of nothing not-happening all over the country.
The bridge in Minneapolis might be only the beginning. It's a falling domino.
Call me foolish, but I'm not worried about a terrorist attack. It's the not-so-slow erosion of our aging infrastructure that's scaring the fuck outta me. Our bridges, our rail system, and our highways get worse every damned day. Libraries, schools and hospitals are closing. There's not enough cops on the streets. There's fewer jobs, the number of foreclosures are up, and more Americans are in debt. Medical insurance is horribly expensive. And why in the hell are we hearing reports of food on supermarket shelves killing people?
You think we should start fixing things for real instead of slapping a fresh coat of paint on it? Oh yeah, the check's in the mail. But it got sent to the wrong address.
It isn't as though we don't have the money. We have trillions. It's being poured in that black hole called Iraq. It's a rotten investment.
So when that bridge collapsed, Osama bin Laden chuckled softly to himself and said, "Pass the popcorn." No, he and his murderous rat thugs don't have to do anything. Not anymore.
George ("Mission Accomplished") Bush & Co. are already doing the dirty work for him.
Look out below.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 1:53 PM
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I think Rove knows Bush's ratings be damned, they can't loose Gonzales. Do we think Myers has really that much to say? Maybe. But the longer Rove, et al, prolongs the Congress' misery and investigation, the closer they get to Bush's last day in office - a few more than 500 days are left to go. They just need to hold on and hanging on means not letting Myers testify or Gonzales or any of the other of the king's menagerie.
The secondary firewall may be the surge. I wonder these days if the September Report will come back de facto positive in an attempt to split the blue dog Democrats off from the progressives and weaken the party as a whole?
Either way, the Summer will wind down, the blood bath in Iraq will worsen, the housing market will still be in freefall and the headlines for the Wall Street Journal will proclaim it is another sunny, beautiful day and all is well in America.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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Thankfully that didn't happen. Now he can still be tried for lying to Congress about his health.
That said, it lead me to wonder if there was a pattern to all of this - to the exposure of corruption within the GOP.
First you need to start with The Foaming Of The Mouth - total unhinged rants against liberals, homosexuality, Paganism at the same time praising Bush like he was Allah, including facing Crawford and praying five times a day. We have seen this with most, if not all of the recent GOP scandals. Mark Foley was "a champion for children against online predators" only to be caught chasing down young boys on Instant Messenger. Ted Haggard was yelling and screaming about the evils of homosexuality while being freaked on meth and snogging male prostitutes.
The next stage is The Outing. Recently, Louisanna Senator Vitter was caught with a slew of hookers from DC to New Orleans and just last night Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (Mister Bridge to Nowhere) had his house ransacked by Federal Agents collecting evidence of tax evasion, bribery and corruption. Stevens was one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, defender of pork in Congressional funding bills and who would have guessed all of those construction projects would have garnered him some payola? And Vitter was one of those "liberals are destroying the family" guys while at the same time he was probably spending his nights in the French Quarter screaming "whose you fucking Daddy now" with a triple nipple butt-plug firmly implanted.
The last stage has to be The Resurrection. After the Republican in question leaves jail, divorce court or rehab, they go into a "time of solitude to contemplate their actions" (never to beg forgiveness) only to appear months later on the talk show circuit exclaiming their persecution was politically motivated, putting forth how no one else goes to jail over these issues or maybe how, technically, no law was broken. From that point, their career may drift toward a hefty book deal, radio show and if it was a particularly sordid scandal, they will end up with a news analyst deal for Fox News to comment on what happens when we catch US Representative Howard Coble, in the Well of the House, blowing a horse.
Monday, July 30, 2007
I've been asked to proudly lower the level of political discourse and be a guest Blogger on the Rude Pundit's blog. Starting Thursday there will be a week of Rude African American guest bloggers.
Now, why should Mr. Bush fear that insuring uninsured children would lead to a further "federalization" of health care, even though nothing like that is actually in either the Senate plan or the House plan? It's not because he thinks the plans wouldn't work. It's because he's afraid that they would. That is, he fears that voters, having seen how the government can help children, would ask why it can't do the same for adults.
This was originally posted at Howard-Empowered People, after commenter Barry posted a link to the article Joe Trippi's Renaissance in the comments. That link didn't work for some reason, but I was intrigued enough to go track down one that did. Ah, where to start...
This cycle, three presidential candidates courted him. He signed on with ex-Sen. John Edwards after bonding with Elizabeth Edwards -- there's a whole separate story here about how he's fitting in. But he's in. That "Hair" video -- vintage Trippi. Edwards hired Trippi in part because Iowa is Trippi's specialty -- he helped Walter Mondale and Dick Gephardt win the caucuses -- and Edwards needs to win the caucuses.Well, obviously I can't let the words "Iowa is Trippi's specialty" pass without comment. Let us all take a moment and think back fondly to the magic that Joe worked for the Dean campaign in Iowa. Oh, wait...
As far as the "Hair" video, I did see it, and agree that it was clever, but as one of the people who commented on the Trippi article remarked, it came too late. Now that sounds familiar--raise your hand if you remember being frustrated with the Dean campaign's sluggish response to the "scream" story.
Here's something else I remember from the months leading up to the 2004 primaries. I remember, for the first time in my life, actually donating to a political candidate. Not only that, but putting up a "bat" and actually soliciting donations. That is so not me. But I believed in Dean. And I believed that I was part of a "people powered" campaign. I remember many other people feeling the same. For example, "Ramen for Dean"--someone was going to eat Ramen for lunch and donate the savings to the campaign. At least that's my recollection. The point is, people made real sacrifices.
But ultimately, we were not really "shareholders" in the campaign. Many of us balked when the official ads started going negative. We were disappointed in general with the low quality of the ads, and begged anyone who would listen to use some of the ideas that we in the grassroots were offering for free. Like the "Who we are" ads some of us made in response to that dreadful ad the Club for Growth ran against Dean in Iowa. Begged "anyone who would listen"...ah, there's the rub. The article goes on to say
The small-dollar Internet donor base attracted by the Dean and flogged relentless by Trippi has transformed the party's fundraising. Democrats actually counterpunch these days. Every single campaign uses Trippi-patented tactics to raise money. The men and women Joe Trippi cultivated on Dean's staff have stormed the gates and occupy positions of power in major party and campaign offices.More "gate storming", huh? Much like the "gate crashing" that the proprietor of Daily Kos touts, the ordinary people are still stuck outside those gates. It's all well and good for the campaign professionals to pat themselves on the back for the "genius" of soliciting small donations from the teeming masses. But if that's all you want from us, and you're not going to listen to our ideas or be prepared to answer to us when you make bad choices in the way you spend the money we donated...well, we might just decide we can put that money to better use.
Me...I'm planning to take in a movie with the family today.
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I read Booman's story on Bush's new secret plan to fight Iraqis from Turkey. Turkey is all bent out of shape over the 4000 members of Kurdistan Workers Party militia that are staging attacks against Turks. Bush prefers this instead of using the regular Kurdistan army that numbers about a quarter of a million troops.
After finishing Booman's post on this, it sounded a whole lot like the Mongols and the Silk Road. From Wikipedia...
The Mongol expansion throughout the Asian continent from around 1215 to 1360 helped bring political stability and re-establish the Silk Road vis-à-vis Karakorum. With rare exceptions such as Marco Polo or Christian missionaries such as William of Rubruck, few Europeans traveled the entire length of the Silk Road. Instead traders moved products much like a bucket brigade, with luxury goods being traded from one middleman to another, from China to the West, and resulting in extravagant prices for the trade goods.
The parallels are spectacular. Just swap the silk with oil and you have Operation Enduring Freedom minus another Chinese revolution. But it could happen, it is only Monday and Bush is still in office.
SCHUMER: I'll let you speak in a minute, but this is serious, because you're getting right close to the edge right here. You just said there was just one program -- just one. So the letter, which was, sort of, intended to deceive, but doesn't directly do so, because there are other intelligence activities, gets you off the hook, but you just put yourself right back on here.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Michael Vick was due in federal court Thursday to start a legal process that jeopardizes not only his career, but also his freedom.
Thanks for giving racist clowns like Rush Limbaugh more ammunition, Mike.
The pocket is collapsing on Michael Vick, and there's no place to run. Already the NFL has suspended Vick for a year. Now, one of Vick's "friends", a nobody named Tony Taylor, has agreed to drop a dime on the troubled part-time QB and head of Bad Newz Kennels in return for immunity. When this is over, I don't think he'll go to jail, but he won't be playing in the NFL again anytime soon.
Yeah, I know it sounds harsh, but I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for Michael Vick. He betrayed his teammates, his community, his fellow African-American quarterbacks, and his talent and he has no one else to blame but himself. I believe every person is born with a special talent that they can do better than anybody else in the world. Tragically, some people never figure out what it is, and others can’t express their gifts because bad luck keeps them ordinary. However, it’s not tragic if you piss away your talent by being lazy, mean, stupid, or all three.
Do you think legends like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods ever wasted their precious time by running a shady dog fighting operation? No, the reason these great athletes dominate their sport and give such lousy interviews is because all they think about and all they do is try to get better. Nothing else matters. But Michael Vick made the disastrous choice that being “great” once in a while was good enough.