Tomorrow begins today

Well, my guy announced his candidacy for the '08 Presidential yesterday, as expected. I'm not going to be heavily into the horserace until about this time next year -- I do, after all, have a life -- but John Edwards has been my guy ever since the last Presidential, when no one knew who he was and everyone was still talking about Howard Dean (whom I adored, but I figured then -- and still do now -- that Edwards is our best chance and hope for taking the Presidency). I saw him do an early, early version of his Two Americas speech, still one of the best and most underreported campaign stump speeches ever, and he had me at hello.

Since the end of the 2004 campaign, he's channeled his energy into his One America Campaign. His signature issue? Poverty. One of the biggest issues in this country not just today, but for at least the last 30 years, and at the root of or intertwined with so many other big social/political issues -- the economy, health care, crime, domestic violence, education, hunger, illiteracy, gender inequality, racial inequality, teen pregnancy -- and it's been a political non-starter since the end of WWII. The last president to seriously address poverty, FDR, fundamentally changed our country and the course it charted through historical waters through his vision of America.

Do I think Edwards is the next FDR? No. I don't even think he's the next Kennedy. What I do think is that he's not just talking the talk, but he's been walking the walk since he committed himself to this issue, and that's reflected by where he chose to make his announcement: New Orleans. And not from a fancy hotel, but in the midst of the ongoing hurricane cleanup, in the poorest of the poor districts of that benighted city, and after already spending days swinging a hammer working on houses there when the cameras weren't rolling. He's been doing it since last year, actually, and while President Cuckoo Bananas gets a thumbs up from the media everytime he manages to string two words together, John Edwards has been doing the kind of thing we'd want our President to be doing.

And this is the kind of thing we want our President to be saying:

This campaign is about each of us taking responsibility for our country's future -- and ensuring America’s greatness in the 21st century.

It is a campaign not just about what we can do in the White House -- but what we can do on the way.

We all must take responsibility and take action now to:

  • Provide moral leadership in the world
  • Strengthen our middle class and end poverty
  • Guarantee universal health care for every American
  • Lead the fight against global warming
  • Get America and other countries off our addiction to oil

If we want to live in a moral and just America tomorrow, we cannot wait until the next President is elected to begin to take action.

Tomorrow begins today.
I'll have more to say about John Edwards as the year rolls on and the campaign heats up. And it's entirely possible I'll change my mind on candidates*. But for right now, I see Edwards as our Next Great Hope, not just for a Presidential candidate, but for a President.

*(Especially if Al Gore tosses his hat in the ring. He won't -- I believe his repeated statements that he's on a different path -- but if for some reason he did, I'd have to go with my first love, the very first candidate I ever campaigned for, way back in 1988 when I was a dorky high-school kid. I believe in John Edwards, but Al Gore is my hero and he comes before all others.)


it's the holidays, time to redecorate

What with the holidays and all, and Blogger's official transition from Blogger Beta to New Blogger, it seemed like a good time to redesign the blog up a bit.

I made the switch over to Blogger Beta a couple of months ago, suffered through the various buggy crap like everyone else who made the switch in beta, and despite some of the headaches, I do like the simpler interfaces and the ease of changing the design and color without having to edit the code by hand. Because messing around with HTML and CSS leaves precious little time for actually blogging, and as I'm sure my devoted readership of two whole people can attest, I already do this infrequently enough as it is.

So. Hope you like the new design and layout. Note the new format for the archive, which I think is my favorite part. I didn't get to pick the pic up top and haven't yet figured out if or how to switch it out with something else, but I pretty much like the overall look. It's nice to change things once in awhile, no?


Corporate promises and other empty words

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time (all two of you), you know how strongly I feel about labor issues and that my own personal experience with my family's four-year labor strike played a big role in shaping that belief.

The fact is, organized labor is a a crucial, necessary check against the power of business. And conversely, business interests provide a necessary check against the power of organized labor. These two entities should always been in tension, though that need not be confrontational nor detrimental to either one. When they're in balance, finding common ground and making fair sacrifices on both sides, everyone benefits.

But that hasn't been the trajectory of the last 20 to 30 years. Organized labor's power has been steadily eroded (and to be fair, they haven't always done themselves favors in their long-range thinking) while business -- especially big business -- has steadily amassed greater and greater power to the point that not even governments can control them much anymore. They've overpowered not just labor, but pretty much all other checks on their power, as well. There's lots to be read on this subject in the blogosphere, especially lately -- I recommend Daily Revolution's latest series of posts, which you can sample here and here -- and there are of course books and documentaries on this topic, as well.

But back to labor.

There was a time when organized labor wasn't treated like an enemy to be conquered and eradicated. When businesses viewed them as another interest that needed to be negotiated with as they would negotiate with vendors, suppliers, clients, and governments. Going back to the time that my family was on strike, I vividly remember when Lee Iacocca, CEO of Chrysler, approached the workers with a request that they accept lowered wages and benefits while he attempted to save the company. His plea was couched in the terms that they were all in the boat together, that everyone's sacrifice would be for the greater good, that just as they benefitted when the company was doing well, they needed to sacrifice when it wasn't. If they would put their faith in him, he would get them through this difficult time and when they became the successful company he knew they could be, they would share in the windfall, returning to their regular wages and benefits. The union voted to go along with him and accept wage and benefit cuts. Pride in their company swelled, for they felt invested in something, that they were a team truly working together.

When the company began posting profits, he paid the shareholders and the lowered wages the union accepted to save the company became their regular wages. For this, Lee Iacocca became a legend of the corporate world and is credited with single-handedly saving Chrysler from bankruptcy. To this day, my family refuses to buy a Chrysler.

All this reminiscing was prompted by an email I received today from Working America, the AFL-CIO website/mailing list. It seems Lee Iacocca's betrayal of the workers has become de rigeur in the corporate world today:

Goodyear forced nearly 16,000 workers to strike on Oct. 5, by making it clear the company would not negotiate a fair and equitable contract with the USW members. These workers are sacrificing their livelihoods on behalf of all U.S. workers--including Goodyear's customers--to keep good jobs in America and preserve promised benefits.

USW members and retirees made great sacrifices in 2003 to keep Goodyear out of bankruptcy. Now the company's stock is worth nearly five times as much as it was in early 2003 and top executives have awarded themselves millions of dollars in bonuses--but Goodyear still wants more.

It is unreasonable and unjust to expect USW members to accept additional plant closures and more wage and benefit cuts while other stakeholders reap in the rewards of the company's turnaround. And it is unacceptable that Goodyear intends to walk away from its commitments to workers and retirees.

This strike is a fight for all of America's workers.
Follow the link, read the details, sign the petition. Corporate America needs to learn they have a responsibility to more than just the bottom line and their shareholders. They are responsible to their workers, their governments, their communities, their environment, and their consumers, as well. And these workers -- who're trying to make ends meet and get an honest days' wage for an honest days' work -- these people are trying to hold Corporate America responsible.

They're fighting for your rights.


Everything you need to know about Iraq*

I wish we had more time to celebrate the Democratic victory, but unfortunately, the bomb we've made of Iraq continues to tick...




*complete with pictures, so even Junior can understand.


It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...Rahm!

In between building full-scale suspension bridges out of popsicle sticks and single-handedly finding the cures for cancer, Parkinson's, and that nasty foot fungus that makes your toenails yellow and thick, Rahm Emmanuel won everything.

I guess the rest of us can get back to our everyday lives, now that Rahm's on the case.


Winning: it tastes like VICTORY!

I have dreamed about this day for so long, I'd gotten used to it being a dream. I'm as shocked as I am elated. I hoped against all hope that we'd win. I even hoped against all hope that we'd win big. I'm the biggest foolish optimist you will ever meet -- I'm the one who still thinks a team can pull it all out in the last three seconds of the game, the one who thinks an election can still be won long after it's been called, and yes, I'm the one who honestly believed -- and believed very, very hard -- that Kerry was going to pull it out even after the news turned bad two years ago.

But part of being a foolish optimist is that you get disappointed in a big way. Often. So you learn to hedge your bets in your internal dialogue, to try to dial down your expectations, to make deals with yourself to mitigate disaster, to shield yourself from the blow. The end result of all of that, of course, is that when you actually do win big...well, it's almost as overwhelming as when you lose big.

I'll take this any day.

We won big, you guys. Several races still not called at this point -- including, Gary Trauner's race in WY! -- but even so, consider this:

  • National Sweep. Democrats take the national majority in the House, Senate, Governors, and State Legislatures. The only thing Republicans have left--Bush--still sports a sub-40% approval rating.

  • We won bigger than they ever did. Democrats look set to take the House, and with a larger majority than Republicans ever had during their 1994-2006 "revolution." We also won more Senate campaigns in a single cycle, 23-24, than either party has won since at least 1980.

  • Republicans shut out: No House, Senate, or Governor pickups for Republicans. That breaks every record for futility. No one can ever do worse than they did this year.
That's right, kids. Progessivism is ascendant and the voters kicked the Rethugs to the curb. Don't let the door hit you in the ass, you criminal hypocritical bastards.

And already, we're seeing the first effects with the resignation of Rumsfeld. I keep thinking of that smug, smarmy little smirk of the Chimp in Chief two years ago, when he informed us he had a mandate and he intended to use it. Translation: fuck you, half of America. So I take great delight in saying, "Right back atchya, big guy."

Lots of work ahead of us. We're going to have some big battles ahead, and it's not going to be pretty. There'll be some frustrations, some losses, some moments of despair. But I think we've finally stopped our unchecked hurtling into the dark abyss. Time to start digging our way out.

As for the Democrats (Rahm Emmanuel) tripping over themselves (Rahm Emmanuel) to claim credit (Rahm Emmanuel) for these stunning victories (Rahm Emmanuel), many of which they (Rahm Emmanuel) actively tried to subvert (Rahm Emmanuel), I have this to say:

This is a party of the people, and this victory belongs to us. Not you. We have very long memories. We took down the Republican Party at the height of their power. We can take you down, too. Do not fuck with us.


Ice skate manufacturers' stock is about to skyrocket*

As much as I love my adopted state of Oregon, I still hold a warm place in my heart for my home state of Wyoming. I'm proud to be from there, and I still follow Wyoming events with interest.

So you can imagine the glee that's filled me as I've followed the Cubin/Trauner race. We've been donating like mad for months, now, and a disproportionate amount of our donations have gone Tester, Grant, and more specifically, to Trauner. Not just because I would REJOICE to see a Democrat from Wyoming in the House, but because everything I read about Gary Trauner makes me like him more and more. I think he'd be a great representative for the people of Wyoming. But don't take my word for it. Listen to what someone who's actually walked at his side has to say:

Trauner Poised for an Upset

I mean seriously, what's not to love about a candidate who says this when confronted with the fact that he's a New York transplant?

"I can't help where I was born, but I got here as quick as I could."
Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming are set to cement my fervent belief that the future of the Democratic Party lies in the West. Whether Trauner wins or loses -- and he has a very real chance to win it -- he will have demonstrated that Wyoming and the other so-called red states in the West share many ideals of the Democratic Party and that with some effort and some really terrific candidates, there's no reason they couldn't be as blue in the future as they've been red in the past.

*A Republican friend of mine once opined that it would be a cold day in hell before Wyoming elected a Democrat to Congress. I hear it's supposed to be pretty cold this coming Tuesday.


You asked, "What can I do?"*

So I had one of those moments the other day. You know the one...when the people who're supposed to have your back run fleeing from their own goddamn shadows and leave you to face the enemy alone and unprotected. It's been six years of this evil and I don't believe there's anyone who can face it without these crises of despair sometimes. I know I haven't, and if you're a regular reader of this irregularly-updated blog, you know I've experienced more than my share.

My country has legalized barbarism.
My country shredded one of the most beautiful documents humanity ever created.
My country is a shameful and evil place right now.

But there's still a war to fight, both literally and figuratively, and ain't no one else fightin' it 'cept us. You and me. That's all there is. And even though I want to just give it up and call it lost sometimes, I can't afford that luxury for long. Neither can you. Too many people need us to keep fighting.

So read about why we can't afford to grieve the torture loss too long (which is not to say that battle's over, not by a long shot, because I and millions -- yes, millions -- like me are not going to let that evilness stand). There's still a war to fight and ain't no one else fightin' it 'cept us. You and me. That's all there is.

And then when you've read that, either:

  1. Donate some money TODAY (end of the fundraising quarter) to any grassroots or netroots candidate even if you’ve already donated…donate some more. Spread it around among as many as you want, or dump it all in one lump sum to the one that inspires you the most, or that has the least chance of winning but is still fighting like hell anyway, or who’s running against the worst of the worst Republicans. Like, say Gary Trauner, who’s actually making the terrifically horrible Barbara Cubin sweat her race for the sole Wyoming House seat and in my dream of dreams, might even possibly pull off a win in a state that hasn’t seen a Democratic representative, like, ever. And he’s ONLY ONE of literally hundreds of excellent candidates to pick from…Jon Tester in Montana is doing the same thing in Wyoming, looking to get rid of the odious Conrad Burns, and Larry Grant in Idaho is, too, and they’re just a small sampling of the places where the reddest of red states are IN PLAY because Democrats like you and me, people with jobs and families and not enough time already, are fighting the fuck back and trying to save this country.
  2. Call or email a progressive organization and volunteer AT LEAST an hour of your time. There are literally dozens to pick from…ones that’re focusing on a single issue, like stopping the TABOR or parental notification initiatives in Oregon, ones that support fantastic local candidates that’re trying to get rid of people like Karen Minnis, ones that provide general support to Democrats and progressives, like Grassroots Democrats and the Bus Project and hello, the Democratic fucking Party. You may have to make calls, or do voter canvassing, or make signs, or enter numbers in a database, or run errands, or any number of equally unglamorous things that don’t seem like they’re Saving The World…but they are.
If you can, do both of these things. And keep up on your blog reading, and make those phone calls of outrage both to the Senators and Representatives that have a “D” after their name and also to the ones that don’t, because they ALL work for you, they’re YOUR employees, and when they’re fucking up, they should know that their bosses are fucking outraged and they’d better be in fear for their jobs because this shit ain’t gonna float anymore, by god. Write letters and call radio talk shows and post comments online.

And just one more reminder before I stop metaphorically browbeating you with all this nagging… Eight months ago, I wrote the following words, words that you told me you loved and that moved you and that you agree with:

“…you fight every day, not because of what you hope to achieve, but because it's the right thing to do. You'll never be guaranteed a win, no matter how righteous your cause; fighting the good fight doesn't mean you get a happy ending. But you fight for what's right anyway, because it's what's right. And if you're very, very lucky, others will stand to fight alongside you. This is how great changes happen.”
It’s time to fight for what you believe in, people. Please.

* Dedicated to a friend, who's more passionate and dedicated than she realizes.


Something to ponder

Daily Revolutions, a site I came to a few months ago via a rescued diary on DailyKos, is now one of my absolute daily must-reads. Amidst the blogs of information and outrage and hope and humor on my blogroll -- all likewise indispensible -- I save this one for last when I work my way through my daily reading because it provides a much-needed salve to the daily wounds of my soul.

I've made no secret of how worn down I've been by this Administration and its seemingly endless supply of horrors. That's really the reason I started this blog* in the first place, as a small online corner to rant and scream and gnash and wail about the horror, my god the horror. But outrage and fury and desperation and bitterness are neither nurturing nor sustaining, and at some point, we all need something to replenish the emptiness and refresh our well-being.

Today, as with every day, Daily Revolution fulfills that role, by both challenging my philosophy and providing inspiration for facing forward with courage and peace. An excerpt:

Treasure everything you have, and be prepared to lose it all. Accept all that comes to you and be ready to give it back. But ownership is a distortion of nature: in the real universe, no one owns, and nothing is owned. You can have all you need; but you cannot own a single thing.

Live this principle; understand it in every cell of your being, and you will never want for anything.
*Coming up on my three year anniversary. Huh.


"Who the hell is JonBenet Ramsey?"

Title taken from one of the best commentaries on this entire fucking travesty of a media I've seen in awhile.

As usual, I've got a lot to say but not the time to say it. But the great thing about blogging is that there's usually someone who's already said it, and said it better:


Kung Fu Monkey puts things in perspective

How can you not want to read a post that says this?

FDR: Oh, I'm sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we're coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How's that going to feel?

CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We'll be in the pub, flipping you off. I'm slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I'm sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.

US. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike ... NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!


So about that hurricane...

A little less than a year ago, I began the blog post that would eventually kick my ass. It's the Katrina post, the real-time post I was writing in a separate place on my computer while that horrible week -- all those horrible weeks -- happened and just...happened. It was a garbled mix of links and lists and lists of links and gut reactions and pictures and visceral horror on a page. It was garbled and impossible to follow, a stream of consciousness that made no sense to anyone but me.

That's writing. It's editing that turns it into something readable, but sometime during all of that, I lost my heart? nerve? energy? strength? courage? and I just couldn't finish it. I thought eventually I'd come back to it, edit it -- all 11 pages of it -- down into something readable, but I don't think that's going to happen. I kept it just in case, but I don't think it's going to happen. It kicked my ass.

So read this instead. Please.

It's been nearly a year since a great American city and an entire region of a once-great country drowned. It didn't die, not exactly, but perhaps it's just going slowly, slowly, suffering the painfully awful spiral of a terminal illness. I hope that it's not dying. I really, truly hope that. But either way, what happened during Katrina will forever remain one of the darkest, most horrible and shameful events in the history of this country.

Read this please. Please.

They are not coming.


History repeats itself until it's blue in the face

So I've been watching the unfolding wiretapping story with horrified interest, what my high school English teacher would call a "fascination with the abomination", and mentally shaking my head with disgust. I wouldn't say disbelief, because I've long since come to expect the worst that I can imagine -- or rather, expect that it will be worse than I can imagine -- but certainly disgust. At this Administration, at the media, at the infuriating American public, who are seemingly somewhat disturbed by the news that their government is keeping records on every phone call they make and receive, but not, you know, fucking rioting in the streets, demanding the heads of the people in power on the proverbial platter. Apparently, the news that we're officially not a functioning democracy, that we are now officially no different than any tinpot totalitarian regime anywhere in the world, simply isn't enough to get people's ire up these days. I wonder why I still bother, and then I remember that I am genetically constructed to care, I simply cannot not care, and well, you can see my dilemna. Bah.

Anyway, here I am, wondering how much worse it's going to get, and I see today that as the Fourth falls, so goes the First, and thinking how I've seen this before, in a movie about another Presidency that ended around the time I was born, and I find that Digby, my hero and idol, has already said anything I might wish to say on that subject.

Well, except perhaps for the inimitable TBogg, who said the day after the 2004 election:

I look at the big map and all of the red in flyover country and I feel like I've been locked in a room with the slow learners. We have become the country that pulls a dry cleaning bag over its head to play astronaut.


West or South?

Neil the Ethical Werewolf, guest blogging over at Ezra's place, posted yesterday that the Democrats' hope for victory lies with a Southern presidential candidate and that the "Look West, Democrats" strategy that's popular amongst some in the blogosphere (me included) is, well, wrong.

To say that I disagree vehemently with this is an understatement. I posted several lengthy comments arguing my side (as did several others), and between us, I think we convinced Neil to maybe reconsider the benefits of a Western strategy. I won't say we changed his mind, but we definitely gave him food for thought.

Anyway, a great discussion took place in the comments thread to that post so you should really take a look. My first comment appears at Apr 1, 2006 12:44:16 PM, with two more following, and lots of really excellent commentary from others both before and after.


Religious Addiction

Yeah, I don't know what's up with all the posting today, either. Better not to question it at this point and just to go with it before it disappears again.

Anyway. Via Pharyngula comes this thought-provoking and, quite honestly, dead-on take from Dr. Bob Minor over at The Fairness Project about how to deal with the religous wingnuts we know and love. The angle? That the religious extremists so obsessed with regulating who's sleeping with whom and which godless celebrity uttered exactly what naughty word during a live telecast instead of, you know, following the principles in that book they're so fond of thumping are actually addicts.

In fact, you could say they're strung out on religious X-stasy. ::rimshot:: Thank you, folks, I'll be here all week.

In all seriousness, though, Minor's point is a good one, and I think the parallels, whether anecdotal or indicative of a true underlying pathology similar to other recognized addictions, serve as an excellent guide in how best to deal with these people. Consider:

You can’t argue with an addict. Arguing religion to one so addicted plays into the addictive game. Arguing about the Bible or tradition is like arguing with the alcoholic about whether whiskey or tequila is better for them. It’s useless and affirms the addiction.
This is a mistake I think we make when we try to "discuss" religion and politics in this country. And I'm as guilty of it as anyone. The honest debater in me has tried on several occasions to engage especially fervent believers in religious debate on an intellectual level and it never, ever produces anything but awkwardness and in some cases, hard feelings. Not because I was ever condescending or unfair to them, nor because I had any intention of trying to make them "see the light", but because they simply weren't having it. You can't engage them in an honest intellectual debate on this topic, because they're not coming from an honest intellectual standpoint.

And here's where I insert the standard disclaimer that I'm not talking about all religious people, nor about religious people who believe strongly as they do, whether I agree with them or not. those who can engage on a level, with the inherent understanding that theirs is one interpretation amongst many -- not the people I'm talking about. So no angry screeds about how I'm an anti-religion commie-loving devil worshiper in my email inbox, alright?

That being said, the religious debate, insomuch as it intersects politics and social issues in this country, has been overtaken by a very dangerous kind of "true believer" that, as Dr. Minor points out, is no different than a crack addict. Think about that for a minute. If, every time you hear some wingnut religious bloviator introduced as "National Director of the Association of Concerned Christians" or whatever, and you substituted the word "Alcoholic" for "Christian"...puts them in a whole different light, doesn't it? And in that sense, what they have to say really has about as much merit:

Don’t accept that the addiction needs equal time. Stop debating as if there are two sides. Get over any guilt about a free country requiring you to make space for addictive arguments. You don’t have to act as if here are “two sides” to the debate. Addicts and their dealers already have the power of the addiction and addictive communities behind their messages.
It really is time to stop acting as if these people are honest players in the debate. They aren't. They're too muddled by their addiction to do so.

Three Simple Things To Remember

This time last year, the future solvency of Social Security was the hot topic, due entirely to Republican fearmongering that was nothing more than an effort to kill a program they've hated since its inception. Unfortunately, many very smart people, including many smart liberal people, fell prey to the misinformation and downright deception about this topic, and though they didn't agree with Bush & Co., they too wondered if perhaps we ought to maybe do something about Social Security.

At the time, I posted several links to Kevin Drum's series that explain exactly why Republicans are full of shit on Social Security (continuing their undefeated record on bullshittedness) and that the program isn't in any trouble. Period. And just to drive the point home a little further, Kevin's got another short 'n sweet summary of why Social Security continues to be Perfectly Fine, Thank You Very Much.


Sure, the debate was killed deader than the dismembered-and-finely-chopped corpse of a B-movie zombie last year, but I see no reason not to set that baby on fire, just for good measure. So, to sum up:

  1. Social Security is in no danger.
  2. Social Security will be available for many generations to come.
  3. Republicans are full of shit.
Got it?


BEWARE: Shameless pimpage below

I just posted a long diary over at Daily Kos about my experiences when my stepdad went on a labor strike that lasted four years. It's something I've been working on for awhile, and it's the first time I've ever written about that experience. I hope you'll check it out, if you're interested, and maybe recommend it if you're registered over there and you think it's worthy.

(As I said, shameless pimpage.)

ETA: Made it (nearly) to the top of the recommended list! And that's higher than I dared hope; I expect by the time many of you read this tomorrow, it'll have been pushed off the list, but I hope you'll go read it anyway. I was inundated with a wave of insightful and encouraging comments that've inspired me to expand this essay further and spread it around to other blogs, possibly even to some publications. We'll see where it goes....

ETA2: Jordan over at Confined Spaces graciously excerpted parts of the diary and linked it (and also crossposted over at NathanNewman.org). I've also been responding to some emails from other readers and the essay may be destined for a printed publication...stay tuned.

ETA3: Well, the excitement continues apace. I submitted a slightly revised version of the original diary to several online communities that have a similar structure as DailyKos and it's hopefully being seen by more eyes. To wit:

  • One America Committee (currently on the front page under the "Open Mic" section, will eventually be archived under "Arguments & Analyses" and cross-indexed in other sections) -- this is a particular honor, since it's John Edwards' community blog (or more specifically, what his official campaign site became after the 2004 election) and since he was my candidate in the '04 Primaries.
  • Political Cortex (currently on the front page, will eventually be archived under "Frontal Lobe")
  • Booman Tribune (entered as a diary, may or may not make it to the Recommended List)
  • MyDD (entered as a diary, may or may not make it to the Recommended List)
  • My Left Wing (entered as a diary, made it to the Recommended List)
  • Benny's World (blogger who linked it from the One America Committee site)


Game over, folks


n 1: a sudden and decisive change of government illegally or by force [syn: coup d'etat, putsch, takeover]

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

I think most of us have had a sneaking suspicion that our government is being slowly subverted by the Bushistas from a democracy into a military dictatorship for awhile now. What I think we're just now coming to realize -- especially with the revelation of the illegal wiretapping a few weeks ago, along with the torture bill's "signing statement -- is that the coup we keep seeing on the horizon? Already happened.

I'd be hard pressed to give an exact date -- this isn't like a military coup, with guys with guns storming the Congress like we're used to seeing in unstable Central American countries. But at this point, any pretense that we're still a functioning democratic republic is, frankly, laughable. I mean, when the President states, on camera, that he's breaking the law and will continue to do so, when he signs bills into law with the express caveat that he is exempt from them, when he's overridden the power of one branch of government and entirely ignored the power of the other...that's a coup d'etat, my friends. Via Digby:

"It's nothing short of breath-taking," said Phillip Cooper, a professor of public administration at Portland State University. "In every case, the White House has interpreted presidential authority as broadly as possible, interpreted legislative authority as narrowly as possible, and pre-empted the judiciary."

Also via Digby:

Weldon Berger puts it this way:
The upshot of this is that until someone gets around to challenging the White House, Congress is just an advisory body with the authority to dole out bucketloads of cash. For now, we have a coup.
Digby verbalizes it better. And deserves a Pulitzer for the dead-on phrase "pusillanimous gluttony" in context.