Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards Withdraws

Remarks Of John Edwards Today In New Orleans:

It's time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path.


Do not turn away from these great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. Do not walk away from what's possible, because it's time for all of us, all of us together, to make the two Americas one.

Thank you. God bless you, and let's go to work. Thank you all very much.

YouTube -- John Edwards' Withdrawal Speech

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Immigration Frankenstein has cost the GOP a lot, and gained them little.

In mid to late 2005, we read a number of stories about how immigration would become the main issue in the 2006 election. The suddenness with which these stories all showed up, followed by how quickly the 'anti-illegal immigrant' crew got in gear, seemed to suggest that the decision to make it a focal point of the election was made somewhere in Washington, D.C., not throughout the length and breadth of America.

No matter. Either way, it certainly did become a major issue in 2006, and remains one today. If it was hatched up in some pollster's office during the desperate search for an issue the GOP could run on last year, it is now a monster that the GOP cannot control.

And it's eating them alive.

The right likes to cite polls that suggest that a large majority of Americans want the border secure, while ignoring the simultaneous polls that suggest that far less than a majority favor mass deportation or other action taken against people who are already here doing nothing more than working for a living.

But the issue here isn't how many Americans favor what. It has to do with how many Americans are being pursuaded to vote for the GOP based on their immigrant bashing, versus how many are being pursuaded to vote for Democrats instead.

The basic flaw is that the anti-immigrant strategy was being used as a 'get out the base' strategy, and it hasn't worked for that, as well as not working for broadening their base.

For a few people, being anti-immigrant is almost like a religion. I'm talking about the real nutcakes, the minutemen, the Tom Tancredo backers, and the like. They certainly would never vote for a Democrat. They might turn out to vote for an anti-immigrant hardliner like Tancredo or Randy Graf (or anti-immigrant converts like J.D. Hayworth) but the results of recent elections prove that there just aren't enough of them. Here in Arizona Graf and Hayworth went down to defeat (as did Congressman Henry Bonilla of Texas in another district close to the border) in 2006, and Tancredo's Presidential bid ended when he (like fellow immigration jockey Duncan Hunter) failed to attract more than one or two percent of the vote, and that was of fellow Republicans. Tancredo's most memorable line in the debates was aimed at fellow Republicans Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney for their hardline stances on immigration in which he said the pair were 'trying to out-Tancredo Tancredo.' Well, clearly Romney fell flat in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina (and only won his other real contest, Michigan, by pandering instead of discussing much about immigration.) Giuliani should be out of the race come Tuesday when he loses the state he bet all his marbles on, Florida (a state which has a whole lot of immigrants, and would still have a lot even if we didn't count the Cubans.) To put the icing on the cake, the candidate that Republican primary voters seem to favor, John McCain, was a co-sponsor of what the radio jocks teed off on as an 'amnesty bill,' the comprehensive immigration reform bill favored by President Bush which was scuttled by the Senate.

Last year, immigrant-bashing was supposed to be the key issue that would save the Virginia state Senate for Republicans. It did not, as Democrats picked up four seats, and in a fifth, heavily Republican district the incumbent went on an immigrant-bashing campaign and clearly hurt himself as he hung on by only a few hundred votes in a race he should have won easily.

This year, immigration was supposed to be a huge issue in South Carolina. Not only did McCain win (and Mike Huckabee, who has only sporadically attacked immigrants finish second) but despite the competitive primary, only 445,000 Republicans voted there, which was the same number of Republicans who voted to renominate President George H.W. Bush in 1992 against minor opposition from anti-Semitic speechwriter Pat Buchanan and white supremecist David Duke. That was also the last time that Democrats turned out in the state in larger numbers than Republicans, until today-- when 530,000 people voted in the Democratic primary.

They may be right that a majority of Americans in polls favor some aspects of what they are saying. But they are dead wrong in supposing that is enough to win an election. Not only do some people (both Hispanics and a lot of non-Hispanics) get turned off by all the bashing and the bigotry, but what they've proven is that while there are certainly some zealous and loud anti-immigrant single-issue activists, there aren't enough of them! And worse for the GOP, it is splitting their base (giving conservatives one more reason to refuse to vote for John McCain if he is the nominee, but threatening to drive away a lot of the independents and moderates who supported him and who the GOP really needs if someone else is the Republican nominee.)

Yet some on the right just won't let go, believing that this issue is a 'sure-fire winner' next election, past results notwithstanding. And that's the beauty of conservatives. I remember when the President was refusing to budge on his support for more tax cuts despite the evidence that the tax cuts he had pushed were just not doing the job, and it mirrored his recalcitrance on foreign policy, someone said about conservatives that if they start digging a hole, they will keep on digging it deeper rather than acknowledge they aren't getting anywhere.

Well, Republicans, keep on digging then. You may find half a dozen more survivalists hiding out in an abandoned missile silo in Montana stocked full of all those Y2K rations who will flock to your cause.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Seven years of the Bush economy

Yesterday marked seven years since George W. Bush took office. And one year from today someone else will take over and inherit a far different country than the one that President Bush took over on January 20, 2001.

In Biblical times (and more recently as apprenticeships) seven years was the standard period of servitude, and after seven years it was long enough to assess whether someone had done a good job or a poor one.

I could do a very broad post, touching on everything from war to crime and academic performance, but I will limit this post to looking at that most basic of issue, the economy (which ultimately is what everything else sooner or later rides on).

The fact of the matter is that today, on the seventh anniversay of President Bush's inauguration, the Bush record on the economy is just not good. Some years have been better or worse but let's just look at the whole.

Taking a look at some numbers:

On January 20, 2001 the Dow stood at 10,587.60, so where it is today represents an average yearly growth rate of just over 2%. In other words, the average boring, conservative bond fund outperformed the market average.

Or better yet, invest in foreign funds:

On January 20, 2001 it cost $0.9400 to buy one euro. Today it costs $ 1.4482 to buy one euro.

George W. Bush has presided over the creation of a net eight million jobs in seven years. Which means he will have to create twelve million more just this year just to catch up with his predecessor. Put another way, if the economy adds 200,000 jobs in a month that is now considered good news, while it was considered a mediocre month during the Clinton years.

On January 20, 2001 the spot price for a barrel of crude was $25.98. That has practically quadrupled in seven years. And it is with the deepest irony that one remembers the response during the 2000 election season to criticism that George Bush and Dick Cheney were both oil men was that some on the right suggested that oil men would understand the industry and know how to keep down energy prices for the rest of us.

The national debt has increased from $5.8 trillion to almost nine trillion dollars.

It is true that Bush has one more year to serve. But that is not very promising, with the most optimistic outlook for this year being only that we avoid a recession.

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Have You Seen My Old Friends?

Abraham, Martin and John

Didn't you love the things they stood for?

Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?

Remembering Martin

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Bush’s last day

The Carpetbagger Report:

You may have noticed, on bumpers or t-shirts, the “1.20.09” slogan. It denotes, of course, Inauguration Day for Bush’s successor.

With that, I just thought I’d mention that after seven painful years, the Bush presidency will end exactly one year from today. It’s obviously something to look forward to.

It’s an awkward period in Democratic politics right now — a contentious presidential primary, a frustrated Democratic Congress — but looking at the light at the end of the tunnel, and knowing it’s probably not a train, might serve as a morale booster.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Are you IN for Friday's $$$-Drive for Edwards?

A few days ago on Daily Kos, KingOneEye proposed that Edwards supporters everywhere try to beat Ron Paul's impressive $6 million dollar in one day grassroots fundraising effort. The theory here is that a big fundraising push would not only help the Edwards campaign financially, but help him break through the mainstream media blackout on Edwards news.

Perhaps you have noticed the deafening silence from the media on John Edwards, even though he is in a very close race with Clinton and Obama in terms of the number of pledged delegates, after having come in 2nd in Iowa and 3rd in New Hampshire. The delegate total is really the only number that matters, so they should by all rights be giving him equal time.

The goal is for grassroots supporters to raise $7 million for Edwards in one day on Friday, January 18th

It may seem like an impossible task to end poverty, but that's what skeptics have always said about the great struggles we have faced. If we can put a man on the moon, cure polio, and put a library on a little chip, then we can end poverty.
--John Edwards
I propose a great national goal, because Americans believe in achieving great things. Like JFK challenging America to land a man on the moon, a national goal of eradicating poverty will sharpen our focus, marshal our resources and at the end of the day, bring out our best.
--John Edwards
Via Daily Kos, by Rob in Vermont:
Our candidate has set a goal and proposed pragmatic policies to reduce poverty in America by 1/3 over 10 years, to end it over 30 years, and to seriously combat severe poverty overseas. Our candidate has proposed a plan that will afford every American the opportunity to get a college education. Our candidate led the pack in proposing a viable plan to ensure healthcare coverage for every American, and our candidate proposed exactly how a strong president can use the bully pulpit to jumpstart this legislation. Our candidate also has led the pack in proposing ambitious but critically necessary policies to combat global warming.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Forget evolution. This Pope doesn't even believe in Astronomy.

Pope Benedict XVI has cancelled plans to give a speech at La Sapienza University in Rome.

The pontiff cancelled plans amid protests of a speech he gave in 1993 in which he called the trial and conviction of Galileo in 1633 for heresy over his observation that the earth was not the center of the universe (contradicting the doctrine of the medieval church on the subject) "reasonable and just" and suggested that the church back in the early 1600's had more reason on its side than Galileo.

I guess I'll quit worrying so much about creationists who want to censor my biology book. Now I'll have to start worrying about real fanatics, led by the Holy Father himself, who want to burn my physics book.

What comes next? Defending the 'reasonableness' of the Inquisition? Come to think of it, with the willingness of the Bush administration to justify torture, maybe as a matter of fact that will come next.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Naval Incident Unravels

Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel

Despite the official and media portrayal of the incident in the Strait of Hormuz early Monday morning as a serious threat to U.S. ships from Iranian speedboats that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea", new information over the past three days suggests that the incident did not involve such a threat and that no U.S. commander was on the verge of firing at the Iranian boats.

The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident includes the revelation that U.S. officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a U.S. warship, as appears to do on the video.

Also unraveling the story is testimony from a former U.S. naval officer that non-official chatter is common on the channel used to communicate with the Iranian boats and testimony from the commander of the U.S. 5th fleet that the commanding officers of the U.S. warships involved in the incident never felt the need to warn the Iranians of a possible use of force against them.

Further undermining the U.S. version of the incident is a video released by Iran Thursday showing an Iranian naval officer on a small boat hailing one of three ships.

The Iranian commander is heard to say, "Coalition warship 73, this is Iranian navy patrol boat." He then requests the "side numbers" of the U.S. warships. A voice with a U.S. accent replies, "This is coalition warship 73. I am operating in international waters."

_ _ _ _ _

Central to the depiction of the incident as involving a threat to U.S. warships is a mysterious pair of messages that the sailor who heard them onboard immediately interpreted as saying, "I am coming at you...", and "You will explode after a few minutes." But the voice in the audio clearly said "I am coming to you," and the second message was much less clear.

Furthermore, as the New York Times noted Thursday, the recording carries no ambient noise, such as the sounds of a motor, the sea or wind, which should have been audible if the broadcast had been made from one of the five small Iranian boats.

A veteran U.S. naval officer who had served as a surface warfare officer aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Gulf sent a message to the New York Times on-line column "The Lede" Wednesday pointing out that in the Persian Gulf, the "bridge-to-bridge" radio channel used to communicate between ships "is like a bad CB radio" with many people using it for "hurling racial slurs" and "threats". The former officer wrote that his "first thought" was that the message "might not have even come from one of the Iranian craft".

h/t Bergs

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Raging Rev's Righteous Ranting

This story must be kept going. Sibel Edmonds is talking and the truth about neokkkon dirty deals involving nuclear material and internal and domestic spying against the United States must come to light. Since no action has been taken by our government to find and prosecute the domestic spies and nuclear arms dealers in its midst, she is bravely speaking out despite what consequences may befall her.

Congress has avoided asking any real questions (like "name some names") and the DOJ has so far turned its head. MSM, of course, hasn't picked it up, but bloggers aren't giving up. If you really want to take the USA back from the fascists, arms dealers and traitors, read these and pass them on.

There are people in the administration and in the CIA who are actively engaged in the illegal trafficking of nuclear material -- this, while hollering about who can and cannot develop nuclear technology. (Sound like anybody we know, like certain two-faced republics?) These are far more serious than impeachable offenses: the rot goes deep, far deeper than even we had dreaded.

We're talking about verifiable, overt acts of treason perpetrated by high-up officials. Serious, scary and should cause any patriotic American a good deal of anger; enough to prod Congress into some real action.

The next POTUS and AG must be willing to investigate each thread to its very end and put the guilty to the punishment they so richly deserve for spying, then taking action against our country, lining their pockets with our money and washing their hands in the blood of innocents the world over.


The next POTUS I'm looking for is the one who will have the cojones to go after these treasonous bastids with tooth and toenail.


I, for one, have had a bellyful of criminals running the government; especially when they've tried over and over to disenfranchise me and millions of other voters, have legislated against me and mine, stirred hatred and division, spied on millions of innocent Americans and -- worst of all -- have sold bits of nuclear technology and weaponry directly to the ones they're calling our enemies.

That is treason. No way out, no other way of defining or excusing it. Bush, Cheney, and hundreds of their specially-appointed minions in extremely sensitive places in government have divided us up with idiotic "wedge issues", have diverted our attention with mirrors and parlor tricks whilst committing some of the worst acts of traitorousness against the United States since the American Revolution.

Benedict Arnold did nowhere near as much damage as these criminals.

Yet, MSM and at least half the population give them a pass.

My many-greats grandparents who fought and died, liberating this nation from tyranny and its citizens from ill-use, who made sure that we have a Constitution and a government of laws and reason are now whirling, ready to climb up out their graves. Shame, shame on Americans for letting heinous acts be given a pass, simply because we're too busy watching for Paris Hilton's next square-shot or worrying about the "sanctity of marriage" WhateverTF that nonsense is supposed to be.

Have we really become that inured or that goddam dumb? Are we so numb to the pain that we no longer care what happens to what was only lately in our history the greatest nation on earth? Do we not care that murder and torture are being carried out in our name (just so long as it isn't our own skins)? Both my Dem granddaddies are having fits in their graves. I'm having a fit now.

Growing up, I was proud to be an American. We stood for something. We stood for peace, for ingenuity and progress; we prayed quietly and humbly as our Lord commanded, not in the public square like the Pharisee TV mega-money preachas. We pledged allegiance and meant it, because there was honor, integrity, truth, and patriotism behind what that flag stood for.

In less than eight years, every bit of that has been reduced to shameful meaninglessness by a criminally-minded, "do as I say, not as I do" band of Republics who were all-too happy to sell us, our nation, our resources, our jobs and our futures off to whatever bidder; all to line their own pockets, trample on every true American value, and subjugate the masses.

Woe, and how far the mighty have fallen. Woe unto woe that a monkey is at the top of the heap.


It's amazing to me that anyone would identify themselves as republic any more. Only criminals support criminals. Never have I seen such a completely amoral, self-righteous bunch of crooks, not in all my born days. They're either an in-your-face, out-and-out crook or a religious nut.

Neither has any place in government, let alone polite society.


At the moment, I'm more worried about getting back what we've already lost. Our Constitution has been used for toilet-paper; all our rights have been abridged or ignored. Before I worry any more about discrimination against LGBT folks, I've got to occupy myself with the outright destruction of American law, values and decency. Without the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, anything else just sorta pales.

I know I sound rant-y today, but I'm far from angry. I'm frightened; down-to-the-core frightened. We have reached a Stalinist, authoritarian point in our history, much to the great sadness of patriotic Americans. The republic neoKKKons have turned the Pentagon and the CIA into mob-run, strongarm operations of which even the Mafia would be ashamed. Any one of us is in danger of a free trip to the Caribbean (or worse "black site" place) for speaking out.

If Keith Olberman and Sibel Edmonds have the courage to fight against this dark force that has pervaded our nation, then find the courage I must.

I spent my time in the military; even extended my active duty because they were short in my main MOS. I even went back and extended another year and participated in the active reserve. Even though in the Intelligence community, my job was the lowest of the low -- yet, I would have died to keep the trust my country had bestowed upon me. I still would. I love my country very much and would never, ever hurt her.

It breaks my heart that there are so many in positions of trust and power who neither love our country nor have any qualms about breaking our trust and selling our secrets. Would somebody please tell me what is so jeezorighteous about selling out your nation and kinfolk for a quick buck in the here and now? Every republic who has thumped a Bible and worried that gays were going to somehow put their marriages in jeopardy, rather than keeping an eye on the traitors who have so easily sold us out, deserves a public bitch-slap; or worse for supporting and suborning treason and the destruction of our Constitution.

I say to them again, shame upon shame upon you all.


One thing that was drilled into us over and over and over again in the military is that the highest form of respect to our country and to our roles in the intelligence community was never-ever, under any circumstances divulge anything. "Neither confirm nor deny" was a phrase repeated many times a day.

To think that these chickenhawk civilians, who were either to lazy or too cowardly to serve, are all-too willing to chuck our technology directly into the hands of our enemies. I just can't fathom it -- I'm not put together that way. Do they hate America so much they'd happily destroy it? Are they just so self-serving and egocentric that they just don't care? I can't imagine a motivation that would cause me to hurt my country and my fellow Americans so.

Again, I'm not so much angry as truly and deeply disappointed in their lack of integrity and morals; not to mention their complete lack of patriotism. How dare they question my patriotism when I served (twice, dammit!) and did my job for home and country -- and they didn't. Worse, they sold home, fellows and country out. It disgusts me right down to the ground.

And they wonder why we call them Selfservatives.


The neoKKKons are shitting up their backs at being caught, found out and now they're being outed for treason. They'll pull anything at this point. Anything. That scares hell outta me, for they've already said that if impeachment proceeds or it looks like they'll lose control and be prosecuted, they won't hesitate to ice an American city. No wonder Pelosi is walking on tiptoe -- American lives are in the balance, and right here on American soil.

Good G'd protect us and give us the strength to battle the evil right in our midst.


Anyone rooting for war with Iran had best to study the facts -- and be ready to glow in the dark, because that particular little venture will most guaranteed not to be fought exclusively "over there". Neither Al Qaeda nor the NeoCons will have the slightest bit of trouble icing as many American cities as it takes to get and keep total control.

The Founders and Framers are looking down from Glory and shaking their heads. Franklin is probably saying, "Damn you all, I told you so."

~ Red Letter Rev
* * * * *

My gratitude for allowing me to repost your words here, dear Rev.



Monday, January 07, 2008

Impeach Bushco

Why I Believe Bush Must Go

Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are Worse.

By George McGovern


As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president.
* * *

Of course, there seems to be little bipartisan support for impeachment. The political scene is marked by narrow and sometimes superficial partisanship, especially among Republicans, and a lack of courage and statesmanship on the part of too many Democratic politicians. So the chances of a bipartisan impeachment and conviction are not promising.

But what are the facts?

Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the constitutional standard.

* * *

In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq.

* * *

All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

* * *

Impeachment is unlikely, of course. But we must still urge Congress to act. Impeachment, quite simply, is the procedure written into the Constitution to deal with presidents who violate the Constitution and the laws of the land. It is also a way to signal to the American people and the world that some of us feel strongly enough about the present drift of our country to support the impeachment of the false prophets who have led us astray. This, I believe, is the rightful course for an American patriot.

* * *

"... A President, any President, who maintains that he is above the law -- and repeatedly violates the law -- thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors."

I believe we have a chance to heal the wounds the nation has suffered in the opening decade of the 21st century. This recovery may take a generation and will depend on the election of a series of rational presidents and Congresses. At age 85, I won't be around to witness the completion of the difficult rebuilding of our sorely damaged country, but I'd like to hold on long enough to see the healing begin.

* * *

Read the entire article here.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sweet Polly Purebred is wondering....

Edsall at Huffington Post says:

  • Barack Obama has mobilized a powerful coalition -- the core of which is made up of young, well-educated voters enraged by the war in Iraq.
  • John Edwards has mobilized the not-insignificant constituency of voters angered by job-cutbacks, declining wages, and corporate high-handedness.
  • Hillary Clinton's supporters are women over 65, the less affluent $15-$30,000 income voters, and those seeking an experienced candidate.
Wapo writes:
Look first at Iowa and where Obama did best. According to the National Election Poll entranced poll, Obama enjoyed a margin of better than 2-1 over Clinton among independents. He won overwhelmingly among young voters between the ages of 17 and 29 and among voters between the ages of 30 and 44. He was the clear choice of liberals. He beat Clinton decisively among voters with incomes above $75,000.
The new Democratic front-runner, Obama, has the current advantage of pulling in independent voters crucial not only to the primary contest here, but to the general election next November.

So....New Hampshire people, I am reading, tend to favor the underdog.

Who is the underdog here?

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Kids are Alright!!!

From Youth Voter Pac:

Young people proved all the naysayers wrong in Iowa by showing up strong for Barack Obama.

The youth turnout rate tripled in Iowa. The youth turnout rate rose to 13% in 2008 compared to 4% in 2004 and 3% in 2000.

Out of all of Barack Obama’s support in Iowa, 57% came from young voters.

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