Tuesday, October 31, 2006

danger, warning, etc

danger, will robinson, danger!Is this good stuff or what? These are warning signs for the future, and who doesnt think they'll need to be warned of something in the future? Not me.

link stolen from David Brin

Sunday, October 29, 2006

today's image

what's wrong with the Democrats?
a (necessarily) multi-post issue

Part one: Leonard Maltin has part of the answer:
[T]he party stands to make major gains in next month's elections, but those will not be votes for Democrats so much as votes against Mark Foley, Iraq and Republican hubris. As such, they might produce a majority, but not a mandate. For that to happen, Democrats must first figure out two things: what they believe in and how to express it.
The pen (or the words) as used by lying crapweasels is more powerful than the sword (also prefered by the lying crapweasels). Especially when the words contain truth.

Friday, October 27, 2006

what am I missing?

I have a challenge for the Conservatives of this country: Name one thing, aside from lower taxes (for the very wealthiest, good for them, but not for me) that is better in this country than it was before January 21st, 2001. High real estate values dont count, by the way, since those are only good for investors (at least, until the bubble bursts) and bankers, and besides they result in higher taxes, which I know y'all hate.

Overall polls dont show that the Republican Party is about to be dragged out of the capitol, tarred and feathered, and run out of town on a rail, and I just dont get it. God knows the Democrats are not a bunch of winners, but the fiasco that the GOP seems to think of as "governance" should have provoked a more decisive set of numbers than the tepid (and so still not tamper-proof) polling they seem to have gotten.

I've gone on too long here, as usual, but I just dont get why anybody still supports the Cabal in Washington.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

quote for the day

I'm stealing this from Poobah, I suggest you steal it from me. Let's help make every single American aware of this. "This", by the way, is a letter from Kevin Tillman, brother of Pat. He is a veteran, and so has earned the right to say these things, for those of you who think it needs to be earned, rather than being a priviledge of being an American. A few sample lines:
Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.
Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.
Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.
Read the whole thing, it gets better. Then, as Kevin encourages, go out November 7, and remember these words as you vote.

did I miss something?

"National security, border security, and the economy: these are the issues that matter most to the American people as we confront challenges domestically and abroad," House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, advised fellow Republicans. (from Yahoo News)

Hey, wait, what happened to gay marriage and flag burning?

Friday, October 20, 2006

update

not quite to this level, cannot lift feet that farJust in case anyone was worrying, I havent been ignoring the blog or any of ya'll out there. I have been working a lot of overtime for the last few weeks (Sundays included), doing true overnight shifts and sleeping all day. That all looks like it's tapering off (I hope), so I should be back among the living after a nice rest.

Monday, October 09, 2006

innocent? guilty?
p-shhhhh!

First of all, the quote (from Rude Pundit):
CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked [Republican Patrick] McHenry a perfectly reasonable question of whether or not the Congressman had any evidence that some unholy menage of Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emmanuel, and George Soros were responsible for, if the contorted reasoning can be understood, not revealing what they might have known about Mark Foley's one-handed IMing until just before an election despite the fact that Republicans weren't revealing it either. McHenry's response: "Do you have any evidence that they weren’t involved?"
Holy Shit! "Do you have any evidence that they weren’t involved?" Welcome to Amerika, I am your Political Officer, Comrade McHenry. Unless I'm wrong, the Congress has yet to give George Bush the authority to declare "terrorists" (as defined by George Bush) guilty before proven innocent (I hope so, anyway). But if that's the way Republicans want to play the game, well, I'm willing to go along...
•Senator McHenry, do you have any proof that you were not in that motel room smoking heroin with those two under-age crack-whores?

•Congressman Boehner, what proof do you have that you were not running a page-whore/drug dealership from your office just for fun, and cutting your staff in for half the profits to keep them quiet?

•Senator Frist, do you have any proof that you arent secretly keeping an enormous stash of pharmaceutical stocks cached in a Swiss vault which are making you a huge profit at tax-pyer expense from unleveraged medicaid drug payments?

•Mr Rove, do you have any proof that you are in fact, not a hermaphroditic bondage freak who frequents DC-area leather-bars with the likes of Rick Santorum and Ted Kennedy? (Oh, poor Karl, how will you answer this one to save yourself but still get Teddy?)

•President Bush, can you prove to us that you didnt simply want to invade Iraq as part of a greedy quest for greater oil profits in a plan cooked up by Vice-President Cheney and his Energy Task Force? (oh wait, that's real)
Hey, this is fun! I can see why the Republicans would favor this strategy over telling the truth and dealing with issues. Woo-hoo! Y'all feel free to join in!

bet our money on the bob-tailed nag, or
the wrong October surprise

or was it bomb babies...?So, North Korea, possibly one of the few places in the world more universally despised by the world than the United States, has joined the worlds nuclear powers. It's a good thing that Big Daddy Dubya was focusing all his anti-axis-of-evil energies on Iran, wasnt it? Of the three "axis" members, Bush and Company seem to have chosen the two that dont have atomic weaponry to worry about. Oh sure, there were claims that Iraq had WMDs, and claims (probably true) that Iran was trying to build themselves a nuke, also. But come on, wasnt Korea the obvious choice? Well, at least the quagmire in Iraq kept us from invading Iran also. That's good news, right?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

sign this...

Okay, let's assume that the Democrats topple the Republicans exclusive lock on power come November 7. There are a lot of things that need to done, but how about we start with something that any Legislator who loves his power ought to be able to agree on: a bill or censure or a statement or something regarding Bush's use of signing statements when he signs bills passed by Congress. They are undermining the power of the legislative branch, and I'm rather surprised that this hasnt come up yet in court. If nothing else, careful scrutiny of these statements should be made to cut through the Administration's line of bullshit and get to the heart of Lord Bush's real intentions. Read this:
The [2007 military budget bill] bars the Pentagon from using any intelligence that was collected illegally, including information about Americans that was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable government surveillance.

In Bush's signing statement, he suggested that he alone could decide whether the Pentagon could use such information. His signing statement instructed the military to view the law in light of "the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief, including for the conduct of intelligence operations, and to supervise the unitary executive branch."

Bush also challenged three sections that require the Pentagon to notify Congress before diverting funds to new purposes, including top-secret activities or programs. Congress had already decided against funding. Bush said he was not bound to obey such statutes if he decided, as commander in chief, that withholding such information from Congress was necessary to protect security secrets.

props to Welcome to the Now
Okay, so maybe signing statements are not illegal. But they are also not to be used by the President to declare himself to be above or beside the law. Dubya may think he's the Decider, but he's not; Congress is, and it's time they remembered that.

And that's all I have to say about that

I dont feel like wasting a lot of time on this subject, but a couple things ought to be adressed:

1) The Republicans have been saying that this was a "Democratic political ploy", a kind of left wing "October Surprise". Well, since the Republicans have known about Foley's behavior for at least a year, and did nothing about it, I would expect the Democrats to do something. After all, does anybody really want this guy in charge of lawmaking (and belong to committees to protect children)? And God knows that Republicans wouldnt have let that sleeping dog lie, had Foley been a Democrat.

2) Oh, but wait, FOX news seems to have been confused about that... Or not.

Okay, let's say the Dems did know about this, and did release it in order to defeat the Republicans. So? That's politics. And if the GOP knew also (for at least a year), and did nothing about it, I'd call that far worse than telling the public about it at a time calculated to remove a pedophile from Congress. Results are the important thing, arent they, and the result was that Foley is gone. Is that so bad?

Now, let's forget about that bullshit, and remember the real travesty, the one that everyone seems to have forgotten after ABC (you know, the ones who aired the 9-11 hatchett-job on Clinton) broke this story: The Detainee Bill, also known as Yet Another Goddamn Blank Check For George Bush.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Maybe the tide is turning...

Nahhh!

Still, a drop in ratings at Fox News has to be a good thing.
Before Fox, many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias and figured only a handful of people really believed that, said Erik Sorenson, former MSNBC president.
I love this quote. The way it's phrased, it's as if the media really is liberally biased, and FOX, being "fair and balanced", exposed that bias. Reality, of course, is that FOX is conservative, but the Republican Lie Machine has convinced people that it's not, and so the MSM looks liberal. If the MSM was liberal, they would be working hard to nail the Republicans to the wall for all the lies told since Bush was placed in office in 2000 (we'll ignore the lies that came before, during the Clinton years).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

founding wisdom

"As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality."
George Washington (props to David Brin)

You hear that, you lying conservative bastards?

Monday, October 02, 2006

trade proposal

Hey, I just had a brainstorm!

You know, I've been pretty pissed off about the whole torture issue. In fact, that America could even consider approving torture depresses me greatly, and make me wonder just how I could have grown up in a country and still have it seem like such an alien place now (and wonder what these goddamned alien pod-people have done with the real Americans, the ones who understood the concept of "cruel and unusual punishment").
But I had an idea to get rid of the torture issue, at least until the next generation of psychopathic leadership rears its ugly head. It'll cost something, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run.

Liberals, i.e., the Democratic Party, need to offer a trade to the Conservatives, i.e., the Republican Party:
Abortion in exchange for Torture.
That's right, as a party, the Dems will agree to the outlawing of abortion, if the Republicans agree to make torture illegal in all forms.

You think I'm nuts, dont you? But I'm not.

This plan is a sure road to a slam-dunk victory over the Republican Party. Listen to my idea, and tell me if I'm wrong.

To begin with, there's a chance that the Republicans wont accept this, which will look really bad to the Anti-abortion crowd, for whom all other issues fall a distant second, at best. And Karl Rove will be shitting in his pants if the offer is made, because he knows that without the Abortion issue, Republicans fall way behind Democrats on every single other Christian value issue, except for gay-bashing and maybe that "strict father" authoritarian stuff.
The offer will serve as a wedge then, which will split the party between those true anti-abortionists who really do want to end the practice, and those who've merely ridden the coat-tails of the issue to office, but know that once the issue is gone, they'll have to answer for their less moral choices in other areas. This crowd will then find itself trying to fend off the Democrats, using National Security as an excuse to keep torture, which will invite discussions about killing children to keep the Nation safe.
W-ho W-ould J-esus T-ortureAt this point, the real trick will be to make sure that the discussion of both torture and abortion are kept together, both being held out as morally questionable acts. Dems need not worry about holding up the abortion side of that arguement, there will be plenty of anti-abortion true believers to do that. They need only hammer at the morality of torture as a parallel arguement to the arguement about abortion (which has often used torture imagery in its arguements).

remember, if the Republicans had been in charge of Rome, Jesus would have been an insurgentBut let's say that the Republicans do accept the offer. True, they will gloat about the victory, tell everyone how they are the moral party because they won the battle against abortion. Thing is, everyone will know that they won the battle because the Democratic party felt so strongly about torture (a decidedly Republican-backed policy) that they were willing to let their largely idealistic stand on abortion go. After all, while the Democrats may have supported abortion-rights, none of them ever appeared to feel good about their stand. On the other hand, there are just a few too many Republicans (including the President and Vice-President) who seem very happy about the prospect of torturing human beings, even if the benefit from such a policy is dubious, at best. Let that thought stew in the back of Christian minds. (Dont forget to mention that Jesus was tortured, also)

To all of you out there dismayed at the thought that abortions will be gone and we'll return to the bad old days of back-alley abortions, well, yes, perhaps we shall. I'm sorry about that. But an illegal abortion would be a choice that someone would have to make, as opposed to those who will suffer under the auspices of Lord Bush's Torture Policy (and dont respond that those under the loving hands of the CIA, et al, chose to to be "enemy combatants", because that assumes guilt before it is proven, another American value currently being raped by the Bush Cabal).
And there is another difference between now and those dark days before Roe v. Wade. Before, those who died of botched abortions performed in grimy rooms by amatuers did so mostly in obscurity. In the future, these deaths will not go hidden, they will be news, if for no other reason than because some Pro-Abortion forces will be just as tenacious as abortion foes are now. And remember, today we also have the RU-486 pill, the retaining of which can be part of the deal, and which may even find itself legalized in more states once it is the only "abortion" option available. Increased use of the pill may also lead to greater awareness, and efforts towards the reduction, of rape, especially when the victims are forced to carry the children conceived in those attacks.
It's entirely possible that abortion, with all it's moral quandaries, will return in the course of a generation or so, anyway. It's one thing to be against abortion when it is a choice, but when it ceases to be so, many may find that they would prefer to have the decision left up to them, after all. I have little doubt that, whether they know it or not, every single person who campaigns against abortion knows someone who has secretly had one.

Finally, this might be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but consider this: We are in the midst of a cultural war. Certainly the Conservatives think, and even say, so. They claim that it is Christianity under fire, but really, the influence of Christianity has been on the wain for decades. Now, Christian "soldiers" are fighting back without mercy, laying siege to the culture and apparently forgetting all they supposedly stand for in an effort to regain power. Make no mistake, in a war, sacrifices are made. Personally, I'm willing to sacrifice "a woman's right to choose", especially if it works to remove a party from power that seems to be intent on removing other, far more important (and less morally questionable), rights.

Ask yourself, would you call trading anti-abortion legislation for anti-torture legislation fair? And if I'm right, and the end of the abortion battle also brought the end of the dominance of the Republican party as the so-called "party of morality", you would also be trading anti-abortion legislation for tax reform (away from tax breaks for the rich), an end to the madness that is educational testing, and a return of monies for social services, arts, medical care, and infrastructure. Imagine a military with a fully funded veterans administration, or increased money put into higher education returning a college education to within the reach of working students, or funding for solutions for childcare for working parents; do you think these things will happen under the Bush Administration, and whoever follows in their footsteps?





Okay, I said "finally" above, but this is actually my final point: The Abortion Issue is an albatross around the neck of the Democratic Party. It will never go away until abortion itself goes away. This can happen in two ways:
One, slowly over the years, as the Republican Party turns back the clock, wiping out decades of Liberal policies because a few people throw out the fetus with the bathwater. A lot of damage has been done to this country because people cannot see beyond one issue. (Those reading this who think my idea betrays Liberals everywhere might consider those words also). The Democrats can never say, okay, we've changed our minds, we dont like abortion either, because Republicans will simply accuse them of pandering, a charge that will look true enough to the public, giving the GOP another club to beat Dems with. Or...
Two: Using my plan. But with this second route, the Democrats do not say, "oh we've changed our minds", they simply say, "Torture is something we feel very strongly about, while we're more ambiguous about abortion. So we're willing to end abortion to put an end to torture, if you Republicans are willing to end torture to put an end to abortion". Let Karl spin that idea.

Remove the albatross, give it a little time, and the abortion debate will come back; and next time, everybody can avoid making it a party litmus test. In the meantime, we will cease to be a state that condones torture. That seems more than reasonable to me.