Debate Watching

So tomorrow, apparently, these two guys that're running for President or something are gonna yak at us about, like, policy 'n stuff? Groovy.

Maybe you're planning to watch, maybe you're not. Frankly, I could understand not watching -- I myself will be slightly occupied with Other Things while I watch in order to avoid an Unfortunate Incident With My Television (it's that smirk of his that sends my blood pressure into orbit). Or, if you want a fun party activity with friends, have them join you around the TV, order a pizza, crack open some beer, and do an MST3K of the whole thing. Some people also do a drinking game as a part of the festivities, but this must only be undertaken by serious alcoholics, as the rules include downing a shot every time Bush says "freedom", "terra-ist", and "nine-eleven". Most people pass out from alcohol poisoning within the first 15 minutes.

However, if you just can't stomach watching (or even if you can), I highly, highly recommend Pandagon's coverage. Ezra and Jesse liveblog the whole thing (as does basically the entire blogosphere) to hilarious result. A few of their greatest hits:

Note to the White House: using epidemic voter fraud as a measure of your success in promoting democracy is a little bit like promoting second degree burns as a measure of your success in producing oven mitts.

from Bush's convention speech

I have a six-pack of Killian's Irish Red, and I'm playing a little drinking game. It's called "Drinking". The goal is to take a sip every 15 seconds or so.

If the purpose of this press conference was to open a dialogue between Bush and the nation, or even the world, I can tote out my dusty, half-functioning Teddy Ruxpin and have the same sort of "dialogue".

from the infamous
4/13/04 press conference

See what I mean? Laughter guaranteed, and a sure antidote to that heartburn you'll be feeling when Georgie trots out the nonsensical "freedom is on the march" bromide for the ten billionth time.

Psst...pass it on

Hunter, a regular contributor over at Daily Kos, has built a reputation for some of the best writing around, both political and otherwise. So many of his posts have had me shaking with laughter, wiping tears from my eyes, trembling with shared anger...several all in the same post. He's just that good.

So when I tell you to pass this one on to everyone -- your email lists, your local paper, your office bulletin board, anywhere and everywhere -- I want you to understand my full meaning.

An Open Letter to President Bush

Please, spread it around. I don't know if it'll do any good, if it'll break the surface of media miasma that's threatening to swallow us all, but if I can get an inbox full of chain letters and tired jokes that have been cycling around the internet since 1996, this has a good chance of getting some well-deserved attention.


Kerry and BCCI

When the media reports about Kerry's career in the Senate, they usual don't say much other than touting the GOP talking points. Misrepresenting his votes on everything from taxes to war to portray him as a flip-flopper, yada yada, yada.

So it's helpful to remember that during the greedy 80s, when times were a-boomin' for the rich and pretty much no one else, it was the Junior Senator from Massachussetts who pursued the institution that funded both terrorists and Texas Senators' sons in money-losing ventures. No one else was touching it with a ten-foot pole, and despite both heavy bureaucratic resistance and threats to end his career in politics from both sides of the aisle, he pushed hard and in the end, brought down the biggest terrorist-backing institution in the world. The fact is, Kerry was talking terrorism years before it was fashionable to do so and what's more, attacking them in one of the most effective ways possible: by squelching their funding.

Excerpt from "Follow the Money" by David Sirota and Jonathan Baskin:

Second, the BCCI affair showed Kerry to be a politician driven by a sense of mission, rather than expediency--even when it meant ruffling feathers. Perhaps Sen. Hank Brown, the ranking Republican on Kerry's subcommittee, put it best. "John Kerry was willing to spearhead this difficult investigation," Brown said. "Because many important members of his own party were involved in this scandal, it was a distasteful subject for other committee and subcommittee chairmen to investigate. They did not. John Kerry did."

The next time some asshole conservative questions Kerry's integrity or courage or willingness to serve the people's best interests, you shove BCCI in their uniformed faces and tell them to stuff it.


Campaign Finance

Well, well, well…seems the Rethugs have found a loophole in McCain-Feingold:

Daily Kos

Kos is right, the Democrats need to get better at picking up on these loopholes. Normally, I'd say it's good that our party doesn't always look for a sleezy way to bend the rules. (I'm talking in broad strokes here so don't go flaming me and telling me how the Democrats bend the rules. We all know what I mean so let's not be disingenuous and pretend we don't, alright?) But as long as we're up against a party that will stoop to the depths that they've proved themselves willing to stoop to, it's not only pointless for us to continue to follow the spirit of the law, it's stupid. We're not going to win that way. Winning isn't always everything, but this year, it damn sure is.

(posted for the one who called me last night, which is why this is at the front of my brain right now...you know who you are)


Hurricane Johns

The Johns have hit Florida and thousands waited in line to see them. Pics are here. Let the media and the Rethugs keep deluding themselves with distorted pictures and coverage of this election race. Pictures like this tell the real story.

In other news, Dems are finally coming out swinging -- rumors that they've been listening in to the blogosphere, Daily Kos chief among them, are entirely speculative but not wholly without merit. Whatever the reason, they're rolling out the next phase of the attack "strategery" tomorrow morning, capitalizing on Kerry's latest offensive on Iraq, Bush, and other tragic farces. Is it coincidence that the music playing on my stereo right now is "Fight the Future"? I think not.

And finally...Must. Have. This.


Need some inspiration?

How 'bout these?

Big John delivers the smackdown on the Chimpster. This is the kind of red meat even vegetarians can enjoy.

Or, try out the JeffLieber's 2nd installment: "Mute Your Flipping Meat-Maw", or "Shut Your Fucking Pie Hole, Part II"

From my very cool neighbor

This is just fucking brilliant:


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and
fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. (Does Joe read the small print of listed side effects? Nah...)

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his workday. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It's noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.

It's not a long drive, the city is near the country, because some commie-pinkos have instituted urban growth boundaries, allowing farms to remain farms and not be developed into distant suburban lots.

Joe arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Fafnir interviews God and Satan...

...and I have snorted hot chocolate all over my monitor. Damn you, Fafblog!

Shut your fucking pie hole...

This needs to be blown up to billboard-size and pounded into every lefty in this country.
Shut Your Fucking Pie-Hole by JeffLieber: a motivational speech

First of "a daily series that will continue until Election Day"? Awesome.


You don't say!

Reporting about Bush and Kerry during the RNC was biased in favor of Bush? No shit?

"We should never have to apologize for believing our President."

Belle Waring's done a little soul-searching on why she supported the Iraq War and what she's learned since then:

Why I Was So Totally Wrong About Iraq

Kudos to her...mea culpas are never easy and it takes a certain courage to make one. Her explanation is thoughtful and enlightening; I have a better understanding now of why some of the people I spent those frustrated hours arguing with in early 2003 about Iraq -- people who are smart, reasoned, not easily fooled, people whose political opinions I respected even when I didn't agree with them -- had been persuaded to support Bush's Follly.

Too bad Belle didn't have D-Squared's handy little instruction, "Avoiding Projectes Pursued by Morons 101". Too bad, in fact, that the rest of the war supporters didn't have it, either. 'Course, they did have literally millions of us shouting the same things that D-Squared lists, but who can be expected to listen to millions of people who might actually be right, even when they do it in mass protests around the world in marches of hundreds of thousands, because they are, after all, liberals and progressives. Nope, those liberals and progressives just don't know what the hell they're talking about.

The saddest part of of this whole thing? Mea culpas are all well and good, such as they are, but they can't change where we're at now. As commenter SusanG writes in Belle Waring's comments:

As someone who opposed the war from the very beginning, I suppose I should be taking pleasure in the mea culpas and explanations of illogical thinking that led to positions of support for the invasion.

But I'm not. I'm just very sad about it all.

The best response to the honest re-examinations I've seen comes -- believe it or not -- from Michael Moore, after Howard Stern publicly apologized for berating Moore in the run-up to the war.

Moore simply said: That's the problem, isn't it? We should NEVER have to apologize for believing our president.

Paging John Haldeman

Thanks to No More Mister Nice Blog for pointing me toward this story over on Rising Hegemon:

The Bogus Assault -- Father Freeper of the Year (should buckhead not be able to serve)

Apparently, this guy is taking his instruction straight from Nixon's campaign playbook. Which isn't the thing that pisses me off nearly as much as the fact that the media is already chasing after it like a dog after a stick. Except in this case, it's like when you pretend to throw the stick but don't really throw it, and the dog goes bounding off into the weeds anyway. Cute when a dog does it, because dogs are loyal and energetic animals, but infuriating when the media does it because they're lazy and easily distracted.


Bounce? What bounce?

Since the media at large apparently flunked 10th grade Probability and Statistics, thereby heralding the nonexistent post-convention Bush bounce and unable to distinguish the Time poll as an outlier from their own asses, the big kids did their homework and learned how to do it the right way. Huh, imagine that.

This thing is too close to call and will remain so right up to November 2nd. Anyone who tells you otherwise has gotten their hands on a really potent batch of crack.


Love, Marriage, and Equality in the City of Roses

Reason #2,562 why Portland is my home.

And reason #176 why I heart Randy Leonard:

'The issue here is one of equality, [and] equality is not the privilege of the majority,' said Leonard as he introduced the resolution. 'Civil rights are non-negotiable.' He expressed his concern over what would happen 'not just to citizens but to children of those citizens' if Measure 36 were to be approved by Oregon voters.

Our guy

Digby's right: time for our game faces, folks. Long past time, really, but no point in wasting time bitching about the Chicken Littles to date. I don't care who your candidate was during the primaries, this is who we've got. And if you take a little time to learn about the guy, you might find that he really was the best choice.

I just wish that Dems could put on their game faces and try to sell the guy a little bit instead of constantly writing his epitaph. He's really a good man, you know. He's spent his life in public service, trying to do the right thing, working hard and carrying our agenda. He's our most liberal nominee in decades. He's smart and energetic and he's never been tainted by corruption or scandal. Is it so hard for Democrats to get behind a man like this or are we just as shallow as everybody else? Would we too be happier with a brand name in a suit?

He is a good man. And we would do well to elect him.



So it's been a year since I started this blog. Technically. I don't think it really counts, though, since my posting turned non-existent from October to July (with the exception of a solitary January entry). So really, my true blogiversary, as far as I'm concerned, should be July 6th.

But I've been a good little blogger since Edwards' VEEP announcement and hopefully, will continue to be right on through the election and beyond. I'd like to think that with Kerry winning and the (possible) Dem takeover of the Senate and the (optimistic) improvement of Dem numbers in the House that I won't have anything infuriating enough to write about anymore and can semi-retire the blog. But then I wake up to reality and laugh myself silly. Because that? Isn't going to happen.

Don't get me wrong; I'm wildly optimistic about our chances in November. I'm like the little girl in Miracle on 34th Street at the end when she's chanting "I believe, I believe" even though she thinks he didn't get her a house. (It's possible I might be taking hallucinogenic medications, also.) But the fact is, until the Republican party starts hewing to their party's originally-intended course instead of this psychotropic binge they're currently on, they're not to be trusted.

I don't say that lightly. Democracy is of no value without reasonable opposition within to balance extreme interests and keep it on a fairly straight and upward path. That means a respectful opposition of ideas, a nationally loyal minority party (or parties), and compromise. The GOP, in its current form, allows none of those things. We're well on our way to some thing other than the democratic republic that this country is supposed to be...some say we're headed toward fascism, to totalitarianism, to some kind of hegemonic mutation...something very bad. We're probably further along that path to something very bad than any of us care to admit.

So until we settle down to something other than the current state of things, I'll be blogging. Maybe not frequently, maybe not regularly, but I'll be doing it, as long as I have a voice.



I'm not sure that I'll ever have the words to express how much I despise Dick Cheney, but likening him to the Big Bad of Harry Potter is about the easiest way to do it.

The Curse of Dick Cheney

This especially gives me warm fuzzies:

Those who have known him over the years remain astounded by what they describe as his almost autistic indifference to the thoughts and feelings of others. "He has the least interest in human beings of anyone I have ever met," says John Perry Barlow, his former supporter. Cheney's freshman-year roommate, Steve Billings, agrees: "If I could ask Dick one question, I'd ask him how he could be so unempathetic."

The man is fucking dangerous.


I want to be Jon Stewart when I grow up

So, while we're all waiting for the entertainment that will be the upcoming 3 weeks*, how bout taking a little time out to laugh your ass off with The Daily Show?

Jon Stewart does Zell Miller

Watch the whole thing 'cause it's all good, but the truly transcendental stuff starts around 3:15. Oh, and I recommend keeping some tissues handy. And don't drink anything while you watch or you might have to replace your monitor.

(if you have any trouble with the link, go here and click on the "Headlines: Zell on Earth" video link)

*Among some of the big ass chickens that're coming home to roost:

  • Senator Bob Graham's new book, which discusses the Bush Administration cover up of Saudi funding of the 9/11 hijackers
  • Bush's Guard service, including Ben Barnes' admission that he pulled strings to get the young lad into the Guard, bumping him ahead of candidates who'd been on the list for years, as well as Jerry Killian's documents of running interference for Bush during those years (and we'll just ignore the fact that all of this has been pursued by the blogosphere for more than a year, and that anyone the media has had multiple opportunities to put the lie to the Administration's repeated assertions that Bush fulfilled his service requirements)
  • The mysterious, complicated, and still-unraveling story connecting Larry Franklin (a neocon underling in Doug Feith's office, one of the chief architects of the "case" for the Iraq war) to the Israeli/Iranian spy infiltration and possibly, links to the Plame investigation
  • Indictments in the Plame investigation, possibly including Scooter Libby, Cheney's chief of staff
  • And probably the most likely to get real media coverage, the allegations in Kitty Kelley's upcoming release on the Bush family, most of it sensationalist claptrap, some of it probably true, and all of it likely to captivate our media for weeks since they seem so easily entertained by shiny objects

Too bad the really horrific scandals -- among them, record deficit numbers, anemic job creation, the eternal FUBAR that is Iraq, Bush's gross incompetence -- won't get the same attention. But one way or the other, these guys are going down. Preferably in handcuffs, but I'll take what I can get.


Is it snowing outside?

'Cause it surely must be Christmas.

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we have witnessed the self-immolation of the Republican Party. Venality, to paraphrase the illustrious Bart Simpson, is a horrible bitch goddess.

I haven't watched any of the RNC to date. Though, god help me, I did try -- in the interest of balance, donchyaknow. But 2.5 minutes elapsed on Monday night and I was inches from putting my foot through the television; my husband and I decided it was in the best interests of all involved that I just put the remote down and back away slowly.

So of course I missed tonight's entertainment, namely, Darth Vader's (aka "Dick Cheney") snarlfest and Zell "I'm not a Democrat but I play one on TV" Miller going bugshit crazy on national television not once, but thrice. Good times, good times.

Bugshit Crazy, Interlude #1: Kos has the rundown.

Bugshit Crazy, Interlude #2: Even CNN -- that bastion of media hacks -- gets in on the action.

Bugshit Crazy, Interlude #3: And finally, the coup de grace, ol' Zell has a meltdown on Hardball.

So, just to recap:

Our kinda guys...

Their kinda guys...

And as if that weren't enough, Santa has decided that we've been good girls and boys and has rewarded us with a little extra sumpin'-sumpin' in our stockings...looks like that backlash I blogged about is on its way and it's gonna be a doozy.

The guy who got Dubya his cushy assignment in the Guard finally speaks up.

Salon -- Bush family friend recalls Dubya's younger years. (click the free pass option to read the whole thing)

And it turns out, the Swifties' aren't as a big a group as they would have you believe.

That sound you just heard was Karl Rove whimpering in the corner.

I know we don't want to think about it, but...

No, I'm not hiding, I've just been both too busy and too fucking enervated about politics at the moment to post anything that wouldn't devolve into the literary equivalent of frothing at the mouth. But I'm working on a fairly long observational post that may or may not appear here within the next couple of days.

In the meantime, this is a good little article.

"The Scandals Finally Break" by Kevin Drum

I know I'm not the only leftie out there who's had those quiet moments of desperation, those brief interludes of thinking the unthinkable: a second Bush Term. God, just typing that out almost makes me physically ill. However, ever the optimist, I've been thinking about what good might come of it. Believe me when I tell you that we are actively, seriously figuring out a way to move to Vancouver, BC if November 2nd goes to the Amazing Smirking Chimp. Realistically, it probably won't be possible for us to do so, but neither was the move to Portland and we did that so who knows. Anyway, worst case scenario, he manages to steal the election just enough to squeak by for another reign of terror...then what?

Well, if you believe as I do at my worst moments that he's the Anti-Christ, it would mean Armageddon's probably not long around the corner. But in my more lucid moments, I think that there will be one good thing to come of it: the assured impotency of the GOP for the better part of a generation. Because if anything's going to put a stake through the heart of the Republican party in its current ugly incarnation and permanently turn the American public away from from its dangerous flirtation with the right-wing radicals and the horror show that has been their ascendancy. Well, for the next 50 years, anyway.

Look, we all know the Bush Administration is evil incarnate. The mind scarcely has the energy to boggle anymore at the true breadth and depth of the various and sundry scandals, atrocities, crimes, and bad acts committed by this man and his administration. And, as Kevin Drum so ably states, those are some big-ass chickens coming home to roost. If we end up getting stuck with him again, I'll derive no small amount of sadistic glee from watching him pay the price for his tyrannical policies, watching him flee in terror from the kind of popular uprising not seen since the French Revolution.

A sick part of me wants to see Bush finally see the consequences of amoral policy-making, wants him to see the catastropic consequences of taxing the low- and middle-classes into oblivion, of letting the rich amass even more obscene wealth at the expense of our nation's economy, of allowing the energy companies to set the energy policy, of throwing away environmental protections, of outing covert agents and desclassifying information for political gain, of making backroom deals with Baathist flim-flam men, of pushing out science in favor of the Bible, of making stupifyingly outrageous demands of our educational system and then underfunding it, of calling it a win when the big bombs go boom and not bothering to worry about what needs to be done afterward, of letting big pharma get away with extortion of the most vulnerable among us, the consequences of all these and countless other acts of malfeasance he's perpetrated just in the last four years. He's lived the frat boy dream his entire life, never had to answer for his actions, never had to pay for his mistakes, never known suffering or want or desperation, never had to survive in a world that seems at times designed to crush you. It's about fucking time he did.

PLEASE NOTE: Am I panicked about Kerry's chances? Hell and no. Concerned a little, yes. But there are 60 days left in this election, which might as well be a paleolithic age when it comes to politics, which is to say that there's a lot left to happen between now and November 2nd. The Chimpster and the Rethugs are basking right now in their little confab (though as conventions go, I have to say that the suckitude on display won't likely be matched in the near future, my bias not withstanding) and they're high on life after the damage of the Swiftboat Shitheads for Profit. We're a little battered, sure. But this is what we expected, this is the game they were planning to play all along, and all they've managed to accomplish after slinging the mud like insane little monkeys during the month that our side had to go dark (funding restrictions and campaign law) is a whopping tie.