Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Where's Shooter?

The American Prospect has a great piece on the missing-in-action vice-king of the USA. Cheney's most recent appearance (see photo) makes you wonder if he was perhaps getting a look at his 'new office'[h/t to Watertiger]. Cheney's absence is really worrisome since it makes one wonder, "Who's running the country?". And Shooter being in Saudi Arabia, well that's just plain suspicious. Remember, Shooter has a bad heart, and he could really put the 'hurry-up' on the Rapture crowds phrase, "end of days". Especially since Chimpy seems to be checked out as well. He has begun to look like one of those Alzheimer patients that sits in a corner repeating phrases from another era, "Stay the course...Stay the course...Stay the course." Are you paying attention Iran?
Read Dan Froomkin's article "Bush the Bystander". Funny thing about the Froomkin article is, it was written this past July, before the election and the big win for Democrats. Guess even the moron-in-chief could see the writing on the wall for his doomed presidency.

Update: Cheney Found!

Monday, November 27, 2006

We Were Framed - Part Two

Following up on my post last week about how the mainstream media consistently repackages the information we recieve using Bush administration 'talking points',even as they seem to cop to the the truth about the discontent within the GOP, eventually they try to convince us otherwise and explain any discontent away. This is the kind of lying that used to be relegated to the likes of used car salesmen and ambulance-chasing personal injury attorneys, not the 'free and fair' watchdogs of American integrity. Another Washington Post reader agrees with me. The media are supposed to be our eyes, our ears in washington and the world. That they have become lapdog, ass-kissers to corporate interests who have only money, power and world domination as their ultimate goal, is beyond the pale.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Sickness Spreads UPDATE

A tiny blurb that disgusts me to post. A video of American soldiers teasing, taunting and ultimately acting in a disgraceful way toward Iraqi children. We leave our troops in harm's way and treat them as fodder and they begin to act as if common decency and rules of behavior don't matter. These soldiers should be ashamed of themselves and I hope they are disciplined. Seeing children treated like this shames our country. This administration's despicable conduct in the prosecution of this ugly occupation is the shocking reason these soldiers are even in Iraq. Think about it.

This video was made "unavailable by user". [note:FOUND A NEW VIDEO H/T TO RF]I guess the controversy of the behaviors by American soldiers was too much light on a very dark problem. I am adding an equally disturbing video which in a different way, highlights the disfunction created by a military in Iraq for "no good reason".
I am also posting a counterpoint to the above soldiers behavior. A CMSgt in the 332nd Expeditionary Squadron comforts an Iraqi child, read his story.
[H/T to Imm for the catch on the 332nd]

Another bit in the news: Soldier Mothers Long to Be Home

Final, tragic bit: “Breaking News: Mass Slaughter in Baghdad”

“Slaughter is just laughter with a ’s’ in front,” Bush said at an informal White House meeting earlier today, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The President went on to say, “some in the media think we’re going to lose, but we know the only way we lose is if we quit, so we’re just gonna keep on laughin’.”
Good to know your president is keeping his good humor about it all.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Little Fluffy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving all! We are celebrating tomorrow actually because of schedules and such. I did want to post something that makes me feel thankful, and that would be music. I give you "Little Fluffy Clouds" by The Orb featuring Rickie Lee Jones. May your day be blessed and your heart open.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One Breath

I am doing a follow-up/part two of "We're Being Framed" but in the meantime if you missed this the first go-around then catch it now:

One Breath

Saturday, November 18, 2006

We're Being Framed

"Framing the Argument" is what the GOP does best.

Not being right about whatever it is, just contextualizing and changing the focus in such a way that one is left with a fuzzy-brained logic, shrugged shoulders, and a "who-gives-a-fuck-attitude".

In today's NYT, a story by Frank Rich "It's Not The Democrats Who Are Divided", happens to be behind the Times Select wall and cannot be accessed without a membership, so I have taken the liberty of posting it in its entirety. Read it. Think critically. Then tell me how the mainstream media isn't influenced by the corporate masters they serve who find the 'power in politics' is behind the 'red curtain'. The Red Curtain that separates, albeit to a lesser degree now, the ideologies of Republican and Democrats. Frank Rich tells of the "entrancement by a fictional storyline about the Democrats...". The storyline being all the Dems are in a power struggle that ultimately will paralyze them from making real change.

First things first. There is certainly some tussling going on in the new majority in Washington. It would be impossible for people who have been silenced for more than 6 long years, pushed nearly to the brink of being incidental, inconsequential and irrelevant to not want to 'parry' a little about priorities. Think about it. If you read at the "cooler medium" at all you understand that right now the GOP is in bigger disarray than Democrats have ever been. BushCo policies, strong-arm tactics, lies, deceit, incompetence, corruption and nearly total rejection of "true conservative ideals" i.e, smaller gov't, lower taxes, etc., are not a part of Dubya's plan. This has forced the GOPers to 'take stock' and 'pick sides' regarding what they truly believe. It will make me far too angry to go into all that I think is wrong with current rethuglican ideology, but suffice to say there is a selfishness inherent within their ranks that shocks me to my very core.

Then remember the GOP sweep in 1994, Newt Gingrich's "Contract on America". Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich were at each other's throats over the power structure of the House. Eventually, DeLay would force Gingrich out so he could "Hammer" the house into utter submission. After whatever internal struggles in the Republican party were 'worked out', the 104th Congress went on to write some devastating legislation.

The point is, We are at a turning point in America. We The People must not rest on our laurels, intellectually or emotionally. We still have much work to do. We need to hold our newly-elected Democrats' feet to the fire to encourage, no, demand, that they have the investigations into the corruption, raise the minimum wage, renegotiate the Medicare drug bill, reverse the Military Commissions Act, and a long list of other vastly important legislation. But we must not let the propagandists of the mainstream media frame our thoughts for us by telling us over and over that the new power structure in Washington is really just like the battling between Britany Spears and her soon to be ex-husband KFed, and as unimportant.

It’s Not the Democrats Who Are Divided
ELECTIONS may come and go, but Washington remains incorrigible. Not even voters delivering a clear message can topple the town’s conventional wisdom once it has been set in the stone of punditry.

Right now the capital is entranced by a fictional story line about the Democrats. As this narrative goes, the party’s sweep of Congress was more or less an accident. The victory had little to do with the Democrats’ actual beliefs and was instead solely the result of President Bush’s unpopularity and a cunning backroom stunt by the campaign Machiavellis, Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel, to enlist a smattering of “conservative” candidates to run in red states. In this retelling of the 2006 election, the signature race took place in Montana, where the victor was a gun-toting farmer with a flattop haircut: i.e., a Democrat in Republican drag. And now the party is deeply divided as its old liberals and new conservatives converge on Capitol Hill to slug it out.

The only problem with this version of events is that it’s not true. The overwhelming majority of the Democratic winners, including Jon Tester of Montana, are to the left of most Republicans, whether on economic policy or abortion. For all of the hyperventilation devoted to the Steny Hoyer-John Murtha bout for the House leadership, the final count was lopsided next to the one-vote margin in the G.O.P. Senate intramural that yielded that paragon of “unity,” Trent Lott. But the most telling barometer is the election’s defining issue: there is far more unanimity among Democrats about Iraq than there is among Republicans. Disengaging America from that war is what the country voted for overwhelmingly on Nov. 7, and that’s what the Democrats almost uniformly promised to speed up, whatever their vague, often inchoate notions about how to do it.

Even before they officially take over, the Democrats are trying to deliver on this pledge. Carl Levin and Joe Biden, among the party’s leaders in thinking through a new Iraq policy, are gravitating toward a long-gestating centrist exit strategy: a phased withdrawal starting in four to six months; a loosely federal Iraqi government that would ratify the de facto separation of the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds and fairly allocate the oil spoils; and diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy to engage Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria, in securing some kind of peace.

None of these ideas are radical, novel or much removed from what James Baker’s Iraq Study Group is expected to come up with. All are debatable and all could fail. At this late date, only triage is an option, not “victory.” There’s no panacea to end the civil war that four years of American bumbling have wrought. But the one truly serious story to come out of the election — far more significant than the Washington chatter about “divided Democrats” — is that the president has no intention of changing his policy on Iraq or anything else one iota.

Already we are seeing conclusive evidence that the White House’s post-thumpin’ blather about bipartisanship is worth as little as the “uniter, not a divider” bunk of the past. The tip-off came last week when Mr. Bush renominated a roster of choices for the federal appeals court that he knew faced certain rejection by Democrats. Why? To deliver a message to the entire Senate consonant with the unprintable greeting Dick Cheney once bestowed on Patrick Leahy, the senator from Vermont. That message was seconded by Tony Snow on Monday when David Gregory of NBC News asked him for a response to the Democrats’ Iraq proposals. The press secretary belittled them as “nonspecific” and then tried to deflect the matter entirely by snickering at Mr. Gregory’s follow-up questions.

Don Imus has been rerunning the video ever since, and with good reason. The laughing-while-Baghdad-burns intransigence of the White House makes your blood run cold. The day after Mr. Snow ridiculed alternative policies for Iraq, six American soldiers were killed. It was on that day as well that militia assailants stormed the education ministry in Baghdad in broad daylight, effortlessly carrying out a mass abduction of as many as 150 government officials in some 15 minutes. Given that those kidnappers were probably in cahoots with a faction of the very government they were terrorizing, it would be hard to come up with a more alarming snapshot of those “conditions on the ground” the president keeps talking about: utter chaos, with American troops in the middle, risking their lives to defend which faction, exactly?

Yet here was what Mr. Snow had to say about the war in this same press briefing: “We are winning, but on the other hand, we have not won” and “Our commitment is to get to the point where we achieve victory.” If that’s the specificity the White House offers to counter the Democrats’ “nonspecific” ideas about Iraq, bring back Donald Rumsfeld.

Mr. Snow’s performance was echoed by the more sober but equally nonsensical testimony of Gen. John Abizaid, our chief commander in the Middle East, before the Senate Armed Services Committee less than 48 hours later. It was déjà stay-the-course all over again. The general is not for withdrawing American troops or, as John McCain would prefer, adding them. (General Abizaid delicately pointed out to Mr. McCain that a sustainable supply of new American troops is in any case “simply not something that we have right now”; the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, doesn’t want them even if we did.) The general’s hope instead is for more Iraqi troops, even though, as he conceded, we still don’t have any such forces operating “completely independently” of their embedded American advisers. In other words: We are still, so many sacrifices later, waiting for the Iraqis to stand up so we can stand down.

An even more telling admission was to follow. “General Abizaid,” Jack Reed of Rhode Island asked, “how much time do you think we have to bring down the level of violence in Baghdad before we reach some type of tipping point where it accelerates beyond the control of even the Iraqi government?” After some hemming and hawing came a specific answer: “Four to six months.” Thus did our commander in Iraq provide the perfect exit ramp into the Democrats’ exit strategy, whether intentionally or not: the Iraqis must stand up by exactly the same deadline that Mr. Levin proposed for the start of a phased withdrawal.

Everyone outside of the Bush bunker knows that’s where we’re heading. As the retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey told Keith Olbermann last week, “The American people have walked away from the war.” The general predicted, as many in Washington have, that the Baker commission, serving as a surrogate Papa Bush, would give the White House the “intellectual orchestration” to label the withdrawal “getting out with honor.” But might this Beltway story line, too, be wrong? Everything in the president’s behavior since the election, including his remarkably naïve pronouncements in Vietnam, suggests that he will refuse to catch the political lifeline that Mr. Baker might toss him. Mr. Bush seems more likely instead to use American blood and money to double down on his quixotic notion of “victory” to the end. Not for nothing has he been communing with Henry Kissinger.

So what then? A Democratic Congress can kill judicial appointments but cannot mandate foreign policy. The only veto it can exercise is to cut off the war’s funding, political suicide that the Congressional leadership has rightly ruled out. The plain reality is that the victorious Democrats, united in opposition to the war and uniting around a program for quitting it, have done pretty much all they can do. Republican leaders must join in to seal the deal.

Don’t count Mr. McCain among them. His call for more troops even when there are no more troops is about presidential politics, a dodge that allows him to argue in perpetuity that we never would have lost Iraq if only he had been heeded from the start. True or not, that gets America nowhere now. Look instead to two other Republican military veterans in the Senate, one who is not running for president and one who yet might. The first is John Warner, who said a month before the election that he would seek an overhaul of Iraq policy in 60 to 90 days if there was no progress. The second is Chuck Hagel, who has been prescient about the war’s potential pitfalls since 2002 and started floating exit strategies parallel to the Levin-Biden track last summer.

There’s an incentive for other Republicans to join them in advancing the endgame. Even if the Democrats self-destructively descend into their own Abramoff-style scandals — Mr. Murtha referred to House ethics reforms as “total crap” — that may not be enough to save the Republicans if they’re still staring down the bloody barrel of their Iraq fiasco in 2008.

But most of all, disengagement from Iraq is the patriotic thing to do. Diverting as “divided Democrats” has been, it’s escapist entertainment. The Washington story that will matter most going forward is the fate of the divided Republicans. Only if they heroically come together can the country be saved from a president who, for all his professed pipe dreams about democracy in the Middle East, refuses to surrender to democracy’s verdict at home.

[Thanks to Barbara B. for the link to the NYT story]

Mike Malloy...He's Baaack

Photo courtesy of Daniel SolisYes, good news indeed. The vitrolic, passionate, Madman of the Airwaves had landed at NovaM Radio Network. If you've never listened to Mike Malloy before, give him a try. He is a good man who doesn't take any shit from anyone. He's unabashedly outspoken, on-point and makes great talk on pertinent political and social issues in America and the world-at-large. His show is available on a live feed Monday through Friday 10PM-12AM and in a podcast all the time. Check it out, and don't let his shouting scare you--he's a pussycat with a big heart, sharp mind and a big mouth. I missed him and I'm glad he's back.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Clear Evidence of Fraud in 2006 Electronic Vote

“We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape,” said attorney Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance, “so ‘the fix’ turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances.” Explained Simon, “When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure–of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7.” …
Read the rest of the OpEd story here.
[H/T to Lotus for the heads-up]

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oil, Smoke and Mirrors

Why are we really in Iraq? The election has shown that We The People want a change of course. The bush administration has and continues to show disregard for what the American people say they want. Why? Democracy? Terrorism? Our security?
If you believe any of those reasons I have some swampy desert acreage and a couple of bridges to sell you.

Oil. The war profiteering for bushco cronies and the 3rd largest oil reserve in the world are the reason we went into Iraq. That is the reason there was no exit strategy, and the reason Bush won't leave. Don't believe me? Do your homework. Read. I googled "oil" and got 425 million hits. There are many, many sources of information at your disposal. I have posted here today a 50 minute video about why this administration has made this war its priority over ALL else. Give this documentary "Oil, Smoke and Mirrors" 50 minutes of your time today and see if you feel differently about the so-called, "War On Terror".

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thank You George Bush

Now that the election is over, and the Democrats are left to clean up another series of republican messes, I thought it would be good to be reminded of what there is to 'fix'. My friend and a reader here, Anne, gives us another great essay:

by Anne — November 3, 2006

A few thoughts before I have to cede the computer to husband…

When the president of the United States tells us to go shopping and go about our business so the terrorists don’t win, he also gives us permission to be selfish, to think of ourselves and not the people in NY and DC and PA.

When the POTUS refuses to allow coverage of caskets coming back to the US, he allows us to ignore the death and the grief and to downplay the magnitude of the war.

When the POTUS doesn’t bother to interrupt his vacation time to even speak to the nation about Katrina, he gives us all permission not to care too much.

When the POTUS gives Medals of Freedom to people who were directly involved in getting us into a war we had no business waging, he tells us what his values and his priorities really are.

This president may say that he cares and that he grieves, but his actions tell a different story. He has conducted himself much like a lot of these evangelicals who think God has set them on a course to be rich, and so whatever it takes to get there is just swell. They can preach about fidelity and cheat on their spouses. They can preach against drugs and alcohol and be seriously addicted. They can preach morals and ethics and be cheating and stealing and lying. They can preach against homosexual sex and be soliciting for it.

For six years we have watched one Republican after another go hip deep into corruption and crime, and waited for them to pay some price. We watched the Enron boys fleece billions from their stockholders and their employees. We watched lobbyists corrupt the system and corrupt the Congress. And like sports figures and Hollywood stars, they became role models for a lot of people. It was all about getting what people felt was due them, and if Jack Abramoff could do it, why not us ordinary folk?

We have also watched as one administration official after another screwed up and got rewarded for it. Almost no one has suffered any consequence for their actions - apparently, it was okay for us to suffer the consequences of their poor decisions, their lies and their distortions.

They don’t call it a culture of corruption for nothing, and that culture has bred indifference and intolerance and selfishness.

Thank you, George Bush.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Candle in The Dark

A blog I was directed to by a soldier/nurse/friend serving in a war zone. He has an audio essay up from the NPR series, "This I Believe". Give it a listen.

Tinfoil Hats, Impeachment and the State of the Nation.

Photo courtesy of Village Photos
Will Bunch at Attytood has a must-read article especially for the tin-foiliest among us (to which I must profess to being). Try to get through the comments as well, it's an interesting piece. Then weigh in here about what you think. After the blow-out last Tuesday, it's tempting to rest (needed) on our laurels and wait for the newly-elected to "do their jobs". Rarely though, are politicians motivated to make changes, unless moved to by the public. They also want to sit back and relax. We must not let them. Reader meta has just the stuff to get us re-invigorated:

This really is the strangest time. When the shock wears off, I think you’re going to see even more anger. It’s so late in the game to be acting like we’ve been involved in anything remotely resembling normal.

Ain't it the truth? I think the voter turnout so overwhelmingly for Democrats scared the GOP cheating machine right out of its socks and they chose to let the elections be more or less "fair". Of course there were still big election day problems with all the usual suspects, Ohio, Florida and the hotly contested Senate races in Montana and Virginia, both had exit polls which did not match the vote count(both states going overwhelmingly to the now-elected Democrats in exit polls, rather than the very close races we witnessed). So what does it all mean?

I believe because of the weight of evidence over the last 6 years that the GOP has and maintains a certain disregard for "The American Way" or to say they desire a country free of any disonance or 'interference' from the left is an understatement. As Americans we may not agree about all things but most of us have a certain "live and let live" philosophy that is crucial to maintaining all of our freedoms. The GOP facist-right-wing agenda wants ALL Americans to be in their image. No freedom to be who you are, just conform to their idea of what is correct according to them. Period. I have never particularly agreed with the conservative right but I have always placed in the same regard their freedoms to live and believe as they please as mine, so long as it doesn't infringe on my freedom to do the same. These people won't tolerate anyone's "freedom" but their own. In the word's of Stephen Sondheim, "It's intolerable being tolerated".

Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean say "Impeachment is off the table". I agree that in order to impeach the president and his minions we must have all our ducks in a row and the American people behind the the effort for justice. Until that time comes, and I believe it will come, we have many GOP messes to clean up. First things, first.

From an article by Paul Craig Roberts:"Are Democrats Turning a Blind Eye to Civil Liberty?":

“Bush is the most impeachable president in American history. However, the incoming speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has declared impeachment to be “off the table.” Obviously, this means that Bush will not be held accountable and that the Bill of Rights is a casualty of the vague, undefined, and propagandistic “war on terror.”
“If Democrats cannot bring themselves to rectify the inhumane and barbaric practices that now pass for U.S. justice, then they, too, (ed. will) have failed the American people.”

Freedom requires vigilance and commitment. This seems to be a thought lost on some of the newer generations of Americans. We have fought the good fight to reinstall some balance into the government and we are a bit tired. So take a vaction, rest up from the fight of trying to take our country back from the unyielding who would have us shut up and be 'good', and then remember we have a responsibility to show up and do our jobs as citizens and protectors of freedom for all.

[Hat tip to Mary for the link to]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Voter Turnout Analysis

Graphic courtesy UC Berkeley Alumni Services
I've heard and read a number of different analyses on the 2006 election results. A wide range of opinions are available with a varied of spectrum to choose from depending on who's spinning who. It shapes up something like this: The House Republicans blame the President for not firing Rumsfeld sooner; the Evangelicals say the incumbent Republicans didn't support "values voters" who as a result they say, didn't show up in sufficient numbers to retain the GOP majority; Republican pundits blame the miscalculations of Karl Rove; Donald Rumsfeld says,"...the situation in Iraq is too complex for Americans to understand"; the President blames the American electorate for not comprehending what he calls, "the importance of taxes and security". So, according to the powers that were, We The People are too stupid, immoral, and obsessed with a single member of the Bush administration that believes his incompetently prosecuted war is too much for the average person to grasp and for all these reasons, we the voters, were unable to come to the right decision in the midterm elections.

When republicans talk about or rather, avoid the "culture of corruption " issue, they frame it as a "few bad apples" without acknowledging the huge deficit-producing, GOP-fueled pork bills that went unvetoed and the overwhelming preponderance of corporate interests in the senate chamber and K Street, the protection of GOP members over safe-guarding our children, the absolute unwillingness to exercise any oversight, the unfathomable shredding of the Constitution and Habeas Corpus, the stunning permission to torture and 'round-up' American citizens without charge plus a laundry list too long to repeat item for item.

The GOP also keeps telling us to "put the election behind us" their favorite party line anytime they screw things up, or get caught with their pants down. GOP pundits are also trying to push the notion that this election is "average" historically in terms of the 6th year of presidency, or "nothing special" in terms of turnout and turnover of seats. Simply said, poppycock.

A NYT's reader, Robert Passman of Silver Spring, Md., says it well in his Letter to the Editor: "A return to the arrogance and ignorance that has characterized this administration for six years may very well be more disastrous two years from now. Characterizing millions of Americans who have served their country and who recognize the administration’s failures, as cowards and idiots isn’t very bright. I don’t care which party has control of the executive or legislative branches of government if it acts intelligently and in the interests of all Americans. Mr. Bush can’t make that transition."

Anyone recall the crowing from the Republicans about how they would maintain dominance far into the future, comments as recently as this year? Republicans were certain that their sophisticated gerrymandering was so clever that dominance in the future was a slam dunk — just like those W.M.D.’s in Iraq.

The GOP was at the top of its game, Chris Bowers says: "Republicans broke all of their fundraising and voter contact records this year. They had better maps than ever before. They had a better opportunity to pass whatever legislation they liked than every before. And they were still crushed."

The Democrats haven't been much better in their analysis of the election.

The DCCC's Rahm Emmanuel takes the credit for the sweep in the house. His choice to back "conservative Democrats" with the DCCC machine politics and money say to him, "I made the correct choice." And the calls from 'prominent' Democrats for the ousting of Howard Dean as DNC chairman, and for Nancy Pelosi to "tread lightly" are not only incorrect but are certainly not what the American electorate says it showed up for. It's the war/occupation in Iraq and the GOP corruption, stupid. [Link to CNN's "Broken Government"]

After much reading and critical thinking on a number of articles the conclusion to be drawn from the higher-than average turnout, the highest seat turnover since 1974, the most senate seats won in a single cycle, the youth vote its highest in 20 years with 10 million turning out to "rock the vote", women voting 55% to men's 45% and voting 63% for Democrats, The GOP not gaining a single Governership, House, or Senate seat, 'the geographic shift' which is for the first time in 54 years the ruling majority won without a southern majority, the evangelical turnout being slightly higher than it was in 2004 but was 34% lower for Republicans and Independents voted for Democrats at a greater rate than ever before, the conclusion can only be that Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike turned out at this record event election because finally, finally it would appear we've Had Enough.

Friday, November 10, 2006

New Map of The House

A pleasure to see the country significantly less stratisfied. Click here to compare to the 2004 election map. Because densely populated areas of the country tend to vote Democratic, the "blue" districts occupy smaller area on average, but they are nonetheless large in terms of numbers of people, which is what matters in an election. We can correct for this by making use of a cartogram, a map in which the sizes of districts are rescaled according to their population. That is, districts are drawn with a size proportional not to their sheer topographic acreage – which has little to do with politics – but to the number of their inhabitants, districts with more people appearing larger than districts with fewer, regardless of their actual area on the ground. For more in- depth maps and info click here. [H/T to ld for maps link. Map courtesy of Mark Newman, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan]

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rummy's Gone!

Keeping it simple today: Jon Swift, "The Reasonable Conservative" gets it right in his post about Rumsfeld's resignation; "...Rumsfeld's greatness may not be recogized by historians for many years to come. Unfortunately, you sometimes have to go with the legacy you have, not the legacy you want." Read the rest of Jon's post here.

War Crimes Case Prepared Against Rumsfeld
Amy Goodman's Democracy now has an interview here.

Noteable Rumsfeldisms
“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know” February 2003

“I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.” 2003

“We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan or in some other country or dead” 2001

“Freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and do bad things . . . Stuff happens” On looting in Iraq after the 2003 invasion

“Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war” 2003

“You get a lot more with a kind word and a gun than you do with a kind word alone” Quoting Al Capone to express views on international diplomacy in 1998

“As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time” 2004

“We do have a saying: if you’re in a hole, stop digging . . . um, I’m not sure I should have said that” 2002

“Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the President and do wonders for your performance” 1974

[H/T to Lotus, compiled by The Times of London]

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

McNerney Wins CA-11!

A fabulous quote from the blogosphere today:

Mary says: [I read] "Pombo in seclusion this morning." He wanted to go to rehab, but Foley won’t give up his slot.

Photo courtesy of Progressive CA-11

And The Tide Rolls...

Exhausted from my 15 hours at the polls in South Texas working as an "Election Official', today I am pleased with the results of the election but know the fight has just begun. We must hold our newly-elected officials feet to the fire. I will post more later, but now I will have a richly deserved cup of coffee. Thank you all for your support and for getting out the vote that has brought us to the brink of real change in our country and its future.

I plan to add links all day, so please check back. Here is the first of many from d r i f t g l a s s. And Dependable Renegade here. For my local Texas compatriots I link a Texas blogger with great insights into Texas' inability to "move forward" with the rest of the nation. Please visit McBlogger. Here are the election results for California via the SF Gate. A site I found while phone-banking for Jerry McNerney (CA-11 Winner), check out this blog on progressive CA-11 politics. From My DD Chris Bowers updates us on the HISTORIC Democratic victory nationwide. NTM the serious note of the Unruly Mob.

I have a final message, via my good friend RF, for the re-thugs in this country who have used the truly UNAMERICAN tact of trashing the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, setting Freedom back 900 years and trying to inflict their view of the world on everyone:"Time for you to sit back, relax and enjoy a big, steaming cup of Shut The Fuck Up."

Those Texans sure know how to turn a phrase.

Seems Katherine Harris has already recieved the memo from RF.

Harris photo courtesy of Jesus General

Monday, November 06, 2006

Beware Phony Voter's Guide!


Dear Friends,

I just received an election ballot slate card in the mail called “Information Guide for Democrats.” I’ll bet you have too. Look for it. Then throw it away. It’s pure deception. And then get mad. Pretending to be a Democratic slate, this mailer recommends against Propositions 87 and 89, the Clean Energy and Clean Money Initiatives. Above there is a picture of this mailer, so you can identify it.

Corporate interests are spending tens of millions of dollars to defeat these two initiatives. And they don’t mind lying and cheating to get what they want. We have to fight this with the simple truth. And with word of mouth. Please pass this email on to all your friends and relatives in California. We’ve got to get out to vote and defeat these guys.

Don’t Be Fooled.
Big Oil paid for
this bogus voting guide.

Spread the word. [Hat-tip to Meta for the post]

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Guy Fawkes Day

Found this over at Making Light. A great site recommended by Nefarious Leslie that I am now adding to my 'Blogroll'. They have the perfect piece up in Mr. Fawkes honor which I post here.
[links and graphic added in this post are mine -Swim]
Happy Guy Fawkes Day, everyone.Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot

Just to recall: al Qaeda isn’t the only source of terrorism in the world, nor would establishing a pro-Western government in Iraq stop terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic: it has been with us from the beginning of recorded history; I suspect it will be with us to the end of time. Who signs the truce in the war on terror? What treaty will bind the likes of Timothy McVeigh, William Krar, Eric Rudolph, or Carl Drega? How many divisions should we send to what country to eradicate the KKK? Who should be imprisoned without charges to defeat the Sword and Arm of the Lord? How many must be tortured to end the Christian Identity Movement?

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
‘Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God’s providence he was catch’d,
With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah!
Hip hip Hoorah!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we’ll say the Pope is dead.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Unbeatable Saturday Music

Musical Interlude by Anonymous as suggested by Shoephone: Freedom

Friday, November 03, 2006

Putting Insult on Injury

That is what the GOP has done. A little follow-up on the scorecard hall of shame from The Unruly Mob, read it and weep. Then watch Who Cares What You Think? A telling short courtesy of Jesus General.

When Insults Had Class

Merely a tiny sample of prose so clever and biting it was difficult to feel truly insulted by the speaker; rather one might be a bit flattered that such commentary was inspired by one. Check and see if anyone in particular comes to mind as you read these pithy quotes. Thank you to Op99 for the compilation.

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
— Winston Churchill

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”
— Moses Hadas

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”
— Abraham Lincoln

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”
— Groucho Marx

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”
— Oscar Wilde

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring
a friend . . . if you have one.”
— George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second . . .
if there is one.”
— Winston Churchill to GBS

“I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.”
— Stephen Bishop

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.”
— Irvin S. Cobb

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”
— Paul Keating

“He had delusions of adequacy.”
— Walter Kerr

“There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.”
— Jack E. Leonard

“He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.”
— Robert Redford

“They never open their mouths without subtracting from the
sum of human knowledge.”
— Thomas Bra ckett Reed

(about Richard Nixon) “He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker
forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them.”
— James Reston

“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded
— Charles, Count Talleyrand

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any
address on it?”
— Mark Twain

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”
— Mae West

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”
— Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


If this doesn't top the cake someone better tell me what does. Just reported on by Greg Mitchell of Editor&Publisher "American Servicewoman Commits Suicide After Objecting to 'Interrogation Techniques' Used in Iraq" Read the story here. And then watch this new ad with General Wesley Clark and VoteVets

Because of Iraq