Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Honorable John Edwards Withdraws

His campaign was doomed by the 15 year-old children who control political discourse in this country, such as the utterly cretinous Maureen Dowd. Most of the mainstream media were transfixed by such idiotic matters as Edwards' hair, or the bizarre assertion that no rich man could actually care about the poor. Again, the overgrown adolescents in the news have chosen our candidates for us by deciding who gets covered and who doesn't. America deserves better. In my view, it deserved John Edwards.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Giuliani Falls! The Republic Can Breathe a Little Easier

Rudolph "9-11" Giuliani has officially dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination race. Giuliani has the mentality of an authoritarian. He is also a pathological liar and a relentless self-promoter. I'm glad he's out, I'm glad he was humiliated, and all I can say is, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

Bye, Rudy! Make sure to let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Reflections on Reading Random Threads About Politics

--The hard core conservatives hate, and I mean HATE John McCain with a fury that has to be seen to be believed. I know their hatred for the Clintons is utterly batshit insane, too, but I really have a hard time thinking these people will swallow their bile and get out and support Mac in the fall if the GOP nominates him. I mean, they've accused him of every vile thing imaginable, including betraying his fellow POWs (an obscene charge). What will happen if they have to choose on 4 November between the Queen of the Damned and the Traitor of the Hanoi Hilton? Stay tuned.
--Ron Paul's supporters, otherwise known as Paulbots, rear their strange little heads all over the place, invading one thread after another with their assertions that "only Dr. Paul" can save America. It's sort of weirdly entertaining, like a Mountain Dew commercial as imagined by Salvador Dali.
--Giuliani's impending demise is being met largely with malicious glee.
--Conservative pinheads (redundancy?) continue to spew out the terms "Democrat Party" and "liberal media" with Neanderthal-like exuberance. You can almost feel the spit jumping out of their keyboards as they type.
--Bush is largely ignored, laughed at, insulted in surprisingly creative ways, or defended only weakly. It's as if he's disappearing before our eyes.
--Supporters of the various candidates are doing everything but exchanging gun fire with each other. More and more threads are degenerating into tiresome flame wars marked by increasingly vicious profanity.
And democracy marches on!

It's the Great Fried Chicken Controversy!

Yes, Mike Huckabee is criticizing how Mitt Romney eats fried chicken! And CNN made it a headline!

Honest to God, every time I think politics and the way it's reported in this country have gotten as stupid as humanly possible, I get surprised. You'd think I'd know by now.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

They STILL Think the Iraq War Was a Good Idea

Make sure you check out Huckabee's reply especially.

It's pretty sad when Ron Paul is the only sane one up there on this issue.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Now THIS F***ING Pisses Me Off

You know, in my immediate family 6 out of 7 of us are females (my wife, three wonderful stepdaughters who are now grown women, and two beautiful granddaughters). I saw my Mom struggle to raise four kids by herself; I saw my sister rise in a largely male dominated profession. I was strongly pro-ERA. You might say that women's issues are extremely important to me, and that respect for women is very high in my heart. That's why when I saw this bullshit I was ready to punch out the lights of the half assed Republican scum that came up with it. (Be sure to check the graphic out, and no, I won't post it.)

I'm for John Edwards and, failing that, Barack Obama. (Al Gore remains my true hero.) I am not for Hillary, although I will strongly support her in the general if she is our nominee. But by God, I'm not going to stand for this level of Republican gutter politics. (Can't you just see these little right wing BOYS who came up with this laughing and saying, "Duh, we called Hillary a c--t! Awesome, dude!")

We knew it was going to be rough, and this is just another example of how our "morally upright, family values" opponents intend to play it. I hesitate to publicize this filth, but I smell blowback in this effort, big time. Somewhere around 52% of the electorate is made up of women. If this is how the Republicans intend to "humorously" fight the first woman major party nominee, then I think a lot of women are going to g-d damned angry. This kind of misogynist shit may play with the cretins at Free Republic, but it sure as hell ain't gonna play in the general public. (And anyone who called any of my gals that name would have his face altered by yours truly.)

Occasionally, we get to see what our political enemies really are. Let this asshole Stone push this garbage. Let the little Republican boys wear this "funny" shirt. And then let every woman (and every man who loves and respects women) see what political party is associated with this viciously anti-woman garbage--and vote accordingly

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Damning Case (Click to Enlarge)

Something I Think You Need to See

It's this article from Chalmers Johnson in which paints an ominous picture of the financial future of the United States. Key excerpt:
Many neoconservatives and poorly informed patriotic Americans believe that, even though our defense budget is huge, we can afford it because we are the richest country on Earth. Unfortunately, that statement is no longer true. The world's richest political entity, according to the CIA's "World Factbook," is the European Union. The EU's 2006 GDP (gross domestic product -- all goods and services produced domestically) was estimated to be slightly larger than that of the U.S. However, China's 2006 GDP was only slightly smaller than that of the U.S., and Japan was the world's fourth richest nation.

A more telling comparison that reveals just how much worse we're doing can be found among the "current accounts" of various nations. The current account measures the net trade surplus or deficit of a country plus cross-border payments of interest, royalties, dividends, capital gains, foreign aid, and other income. For example, in order for Japan to manufacture anything, it must import all required raw materials. Even after this incredible expense is met, it still has an $88 billion per year trade surplus with the United States and enjoys the world's second highest current account balance. (China is number one.) The United States, by contrast, is number 163 -- dead last on the list, worse than countries like Australia and the United Kingdom that also have large trade deficits. Its 2006 current account deficit was $811.5 billion; second worst was Spain at $106.4 billion. This is what is unsustainable.

It's not just that our tastes for foreign goods, including imported oil, vastly exceed our ability to pay for them. We are financing them through massive borrowing. On November 7, 2007, the U.S. Treasury announced that the national debt had breached $9 trillion for the first time ever. This was just five weeks after Congress raised the so-called debt ceiling to $9.815 trillion. If you begin in 1789, at the moment the Constitution became the supreme law of the land, the debt accumulated by the federal government did not top $1 trillion until 1981. When George Bush became president in January 2001, it stood at approximately $5.7 trillion. Since then, it has increased by 45%. This huge debt can be largely explained by our defense expenditures in comparison with the rest of the world. [Emphasis added]
Give it a read if you have time. I'd be interested to know what you think. This issue is so much more important than the trivia most our media concentrate on that there is simply no comparison. This is about the life and death of America itself.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yes! One Year from Today he's GONE!!

Yes, in the midst of our throwing spitballs at each other over which candidate did what in Nevada, we're overlooking a happy fact: the worst president since James Buchanan is THROUGH, GONE, OUTTA HERE one year from today, baby! What can we do to A: Celebrate this. B. Make W's life wretchedly miserable in his last year in office? My suggestions for B.:

  1. Force the Democratic leadership in Congress, especially the Senate, to stop letting the Republicans block everything by just threatening a filibuster. Throw legislation in their faces again and again. Make them go ON RECORD in an election year for repeatedly blocking the people's business.
  2. Come together in strong UNITY after a nominee has been selected, either after 5 February or later. And stop this damned, petty squabbling amongst ourselves, which is demoralizing many of us. The Democrats must present a UNITED FRONT. I don't give a damn WHO our nominee is--I'm going ALL OUT. And the Republicans need to know we mean business on this.
  3. No more Bush appointees to the Supreme Court should a vacancy occur. Hold Schumer to his word.
  4. Enforce the contempt of Congress rules against the Administration officials that are arrogantly ignoring subpoenas.
  5. Push the investigations of Bush-Cheney corruption even harder, especially against Halliburton and Blackwater.
  6. Continue the Democratic boycott of Fox "News". In fact, I wouldn't even let those assholes onto the floor in Denver.
  7. Tie Bush around the neck of every Republican running for office, including St. John McCain should he be the Republican nominee. They were more than happy to prosper when W was semi-popular; let them politically die with him now.

Any others you can think of?


The Catastrophe of Republican Fiscal "Management"

From the inimitable bonddad:

The Federal Debt began to explode under Ronald Reagan and George Bush the Elder. Notice how it leveled off in the 1990s under a DEMOCRATIC president. And then notice the apocalyptic turn it has taken under the Boy King, George the Tragic.

Three conservative presidents. SEVENTY PER CENT of all the national debt in our history. A staggering burden for our children and grandchildren. Welcome to the legacy of the modern Republican Party.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lying Racist Scum Going After Obama

One the disgusting frauds who spearheaded the Swiftboat lies against John Kerry has turned his vile mentality against Barack Obama in a display of racist-fueled hatred that has to be seen to be believed. (The whole website, by the way, is unimaginably sick and twisted, and is filled with savage hatred for John McCain as well.) Here is a telling excerpt from the article if you don't have the stomach to read it for yourself. It regards Obama's response to a question about intervening in Kenya:

American conservatives already suspect that Obama Jr's much proclaimed opposition to America's war against Muslim terrorist [sic] in Iraq is more about his Muslim heritage than peace. Obama Jr's "I don't think we're at that stage yet" answer to Sawyer stirred immediate reaction from a former U.S. Congressman who saw the Sawyer interview. "Yet? We all know what that means. If elected, at what stage will Barack Obama be willing to send American servicemen and women into the Kenyan meat grinder."

Since the Kikuyu tribe of President Kibaki was the target of the killings and members of the Obama Jr's Lou [sic] tribe were doing the killing, one can image what the Kikuyu tribe thought of U.S. presidential candidate Obama Jr's plea for peace.

Aha! Obama's not only a secret Muslim, he opposes fighting terrorism and his true loyalties lie with his ancestral tribe in Kenya! The whole article, by the way, shouts "Muslim! Muslim! Muslim!" and repeats every single right wing canard about Obama's upbringing and faith.

Karl Rove, of course, is already sending out the dog whistles to the Right. Keith Olbermann caught the sound (via Raw Story):

"No official endorsements for Senator Clinton today," Olbermann stated, "but it sure appeared as if Karl Rove was back to backing the candidate he'd love to see beaten ... writing an op-ed in the now Murdoch-owned Murdoch Street Journal, in which he explains why Mrs. Clinton won in New Hampshire and otherwise eviscerates Senator Obama, saying of the Illinois Democrat's performance at the debate Saturday, 'His trash talking was an unattractive carryover from his days playing pickup basketball at Harvard, and capped a mediocre night.'"...

The racist slant of Rove's op-ed has already been widely noted among bloggers, with one of the more vehement writing, "When you take into consideration the malevolent genius of Karl Rove - The god damned Johnny Appleseed of fear harvesting - and understand that the higher echelon of the Republican base is being spoon-fed a concoction that consists of a feminist-socialist lesbian wife of a shill president or a lazy, jive-talking, b-ball playing huckster boy politician from Chicago ... Rove's ability to triangulate issues and interweave them with subtle strereotypical imagery would be fun to read if it was fiction. Unfortunately in real life, the fat master has stirred and is testing the waters to see if his style of politics still plays."

And in a blast from the past, here:

It took only 31 minutes for the Republicans to start the racist attacks against Barack Obama. At 7:27 PM, Jim wrote an article here at Irregular Times about a leak from Senator Barack Obama’s staff indicating that Obama will be running for President of the United States in 2008.

At 7:58 PM, an anonymous reader wrote that Barack Obama’s campaign for President is just “typical black behavior trying to “move up” in the world before he knows better to really do it”.

It will take all of our strength to fight this racist filth. The progressive blogosphere must be resolute in waging war against the Republicans who are pushing these lies and stereotypes. Any disputes we have among ourselves pale in comparison to the 180 degree separation between us and the right wing. We need to remember that, and Clinton supporters, Edwards supporters, and Obama supporters must all fight as one against the Republican fear campaign.

They're not getting away with it again. Not this time, G-d damn it. Not ever.

Hat tips: MyDD, Pandagon

Disgusting Neo-Confederate Idiots Backing Huckabee

The appalling story can be found here.

I think I've made my views on all this crystal clear, but just in case you missed them, here you go:




My quote from the above cited post:

The Republicans who defend the Confederate flag are KISSING THE ASS OF RACISTS in order to win the votes of RIGHT WING REDNECK IDIOT NEANDERTHAL PINHEADS.

[And that goes double for Huckabee.]

Screw the Confederacy now and forever.

An Episode of Gilligan's Island Never Before Seen

(Hat tip: Sullivan)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mike Huckabee: Walking Disaster Area

First, his proposal for a national sales tax to replace the income tax would be an utter disaster.

Second, he thinks the Constitution should be rewritten to conform to "God's standards"--presumably as determined by him.

Third, there's this:

Other than Giuliani, Huckabee is the most dangerous candidate in a wretchedly bad Republican field. That says something.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bush on the Verge of Setting New Unpopularity Record

ABC News has the story here. Noteworthy findings:

Just 32 percent of Americans now approve of the way Bush is handling his job, while 66 percent disapprove. Bush's work on the economy has likewise reached a new low. And he shows no gain on Iraq; despite reduced violence there, 64 percent say the war was not worth fighting, 2 points from its high.

Intensity of sentiment, moreover, remains very heavily against the president. Fifty-one percent strongly disapprove of his work overall, while just 16 percent strongly approve -- strongly negative by better than a 3-1 ratio.

Bush is at career lows in approval in three groups as well as overall -- among liberals (9 percent approve of his work), moderates (24 percent) and independents -- the center of American politics -- among whom just 25 percent approve.

The president's low overall ratings fuel one other result, perhaps an obvious one: Seventy-nine percent of Americans say his successor should take the nation in a different direction.

SEVENTY-NINE PERCENT WANT A NEW DIRECTION. Do you hear that, all you pathetic clowns in the Beltway Mainstream Media? All of your ass-kissing, fawning, lap-doggery, and overall trying to push George W. Bush down our throats has failed miserably. He's the worst president since James Buchanan, maybe the worst in American history, and the American people know it. Democrats, wrap this wretched little failure of a "president" around the throats of EVERY Republican running this year--and watch the Republican Party get demolished from one end of America to the other.

The Ugly, Perverse Sickness of Chris Matthews

See it here if you can stomach it.

It says something very bad that an obnoxious buffoon like this has a prominent voice in our country's political process. He's just the worst, and his loathing of any strong or powerful woman just borders on mental illness. Hey MSNBC: Get this idiot OFF THE FREAKIN' AIR. Yeah, he's entitled by free speech principles to spread any misogynistic crap he wants to, but he's NOT entitled to national airtime to do it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The GOP: Flirtin' With Disaster

The evidence is right here for all to see: The Republican Party is sinking like a stone and the one many of their rank and file hate the most--McCain--is the only one who could conceivably pull out a win for them. Key findings:

Looking at the favorability ratings for the two parties nationally, the Democratic Party is looking remarkably strong. In fact, the Democrats have not had such a high net favorable rating in CNN/ORC polling dating back nearly a year and a half, with 55 percent of Americans viewing the party positively and just 34 percent viewing it [un]favorably. While the party's favorable number did hit 56 percent in September 2006, never before has the spread been so favorable for the party...

Currently just 41 percent of Americans view the Republican Party favorably, up from 36 percent in June 2007 but actually down from 44 percent in September 2006. A total of 48 percent of Americans view the GOP unfavorably, a significantly higher negative rating than that registered by the Democrats...

[In regard to candidates]Specifically, 52 percent of respondents indicated they would definitely not vote for Huckabee, while 55 percent said the same of Giuliani and 62 percent said the same of Romney. While just 43 percent said that they would not consider supporting John McCain in November, no Democrat faced a higher level of opposition. What's more, McCain's hard support was less that than for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, indicating less excitement about his candidacy than for the candidacies of the leading Democratic candidates.

But my favorite part is the match-ups between the top Democrats and the sorry bunch of losers the Republicans have:
Polled Matchups
Obama 56 Giuliani 40

Obama 59 Romney 37

Obama 49 McCain 48

Obama 58 Huckabee 39

Clinton 55 Giuliani 42

Clinton 58 Romney 40

Clinton 50 McCain 48

Clinton 56 Huckabee 42
As I said, only McCain has a shot. What does all this say about the state of the Republican Party under its two war criminal/incompetent/corrupt leaders, the Boy King and Darth Cheney? The Democrats may yet find a way to punt this away, but right now this could be the best Democratic year since 1964.

The Republican Check List

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Attack of the Right Wing Pinheads: Fox "News" vs. Barack Obama

It's all right here.

Really, the idiots at Fox are so transparently biased and so hilariously heavy-handed in their right-wing propagandizing that it's a miracle anyone in America takes them seriously. Obama is 100% correct to boycott them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Country Headed to Its Death, Part 923

Items from the increasingly grim prognosis for the survival of the United States:

--The Republican candidates for president are all (except Ron Paul) beating the drums for a war with Iran, even a preemptive strike with nuclear weapons, on merely the suspicion that Iran is working on its own nukes.
--Rudolph Giuliani has proposed a tax cut more than twice the size of the catastrophic, irresponsible Bush tax cuts that have helped push this country toward fiscal meltdown. Giuliani's tax cut is just as gruesomely aimed at the rich as was Bush's. So what if the country's national debt will already be $11,000,000,000,000 by 2010? Screw it! Make the kids and grandkids pay for it! (And some conservative groups say Giuliani hasn't gone far enough! Ha!)
--Our national political discourse is run by cretins with the maturity and mentality of 14 year olds. Read The Daily Howler on a regular basis to see just how bad it really is (or read Glenn Greenwald, for that matter). Exhibit A: Chris "Man Crush on W" Matthews. Exhibit B: Maureen "Death to Hillary" Dowd. Exhibit C: William Kristol. (I like the nickname "Bill the Butcher" for Kristol, don't you?)
--Our conservative leaders are so committed to the destruction of government that there is literally NO area of public administration that they have not virtually ruined by corruption and incompetence. Right-wing hacks and corporate rich boys run almost every agency of the government. Cases in point: FEMA and the federal agencies that monitor the mining industry. Hey idiots: COUNTRIES HAVE TO BE GOVERNED.
--Our mainstream culture continues to be obsessed with celebrity news, reality tv, and other wretched vomit at the sacrifice of a broadly informed public. Case in point: the insane amount of coverage given to the pathetic Britney Spears. (But don't worry--the next time a white girl goes missing on vacation, that will get 24/7 news coverage.)

An empire overstretched. An economy near the crisis point. Public discourse that is beyond idiotic. A government rife with corruption. A people drowning in irrelevance and debt. Do you ever wonder why I get discouraged? Nations have life spans, just like people. Our right-wing dominated political leadership and media are doing their damnedest to cut our country's life span as much as possible. And the weak vessel of the Democratic Party has to stop them.

Oh well. We tried to keep our founders' vision going.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

John McCain: Economic Illiterate

There are many things about John McCain's personal story that I admire. Having said that, we need to bear in mind that McCain is ultra-right wing in much of his outlook, and his economic ideas tend to be inconsistent nonsense. The Economist, the conservative British magazine, calls him out here:

The curiosities [of McCain's views] extend to tax policy, where supply-side fallacies continue to seduce the Republican candidates. Obviously, there is some tax rate at which reduced levels of taxation will increase revenues, but all evidence (including assessments from the current White House administration) indicates we are nowhere near those damagingly high rates. What does Senator McCain believe?

“Tax cuts increase revenues,” [Senator McCain] told Charlie Rose in November.

Oops! Actually, Mr [David] Leonhardt [in the NYT] goes on to note that his campaign later retracted that statement, instead articulating the very sensible point that:

“Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, but pro-growth tax cuts — especially along with spending restraint — spur the economy, which raises incomes, and offsets the revenue loss.”

Which is not, as best I can tell, a retraction.

But my favorite episode of McCainian economic illiteracy has to be the joke he frequently tells about Democratic efforts to fund the S-CHIP health program with increased cigarette taxes:

"And by the way, a dollar a pack increase for cigarettes? So we want to take care of children's health and we want everybody to smoke? I don't get it."

No, I suppose he doesn't.
As they say in Bloggersville, read the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Hampshire Will Be Blue in November

First, congratulations to Hillary Clinton for her surprising victory in the grossly over-rated New Hampshire primary. (It was, in part, a slap in the face to insufferable jackasses like Chris Matthews, who have made Clinton hating a full time job.) But more importantly, congratulations to the Democratic Party, which saw 55% of the voters in the most Republican state in the northeast turn out for its candidates. New Hampshire went for Kerry, narrowly, in 2004. It will vote Democratic this year by a much wider margin.

Now the political/media circus moves to South Carolina and Florida. The folks there have my sympathies.

It's Max Headroom Romney!

For all of you who remember the original, here.

This one's pretty good, too.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Not to be a Buzzkill, but We All Need to CALM DOWN

[This is the diary I posted on Daily Kos today. There's a lot of people over there with overflowing enthusiasm for Barack Obama and what I think is too optimistic of a mindset. This is my "come back down to earth" statement.]

I was proud and happy to vote for Barack Obama for the Senate in 2004, back when I lived in Illinois. He really is a remarkable individual, and he won a victory of enormous size over the lunatic Alan Keyes. And while I am an Edwards supporter, I am delighted that Obama is doing so well. If he is our nominee, I will go 100% ALL OUT for him. I will do anything I can to help him. He would be light years better than anyone the Republicans might nominate. Having said all that...


Yes, I KNOW any of our nominees will be blasted. You don't need to remind me. But if we want to see Obama elected--and if he's our guy, I will want to see that with every fiber of my being--we need to be realistic. Just because a lot of right-wingers are saying conciliatory things about him now, all that will change as soon as it is clear Obama is the nominee. The whole Republican slime machine will turn against him with unparalleled savagery. Limbaugh and the rest of right wing hate radio, all the FOX "News" scumbags, The Wall Street Journal editorialists, Drudge, every single one of them, will smear Obama in every way possible, and you know damned well the MSM will start to pick up on it. The right wing big money boys in Texas will pour out millions for 527 attacks that will make the Swiftboaters look polite. And everywhere, you will hear "Hussein, Hussein, Hussein" from these bastards, like that Redstate cretin begging for money today who used Obama's whole name to emphasize it. Are we really ready? Is Obama really prepared for the level of unbridled hatred these people are going to unleash against him? Remember, these are the people that re-elected two draft-dodgers over a decorated veteran in 2004. They CAN pull it off, and we need to be ready.

And about the elephant in the room...

In the Deep South many white voters will say they are considering Obama, but how many will vote for him? It's just an ugly fact: black candidates in the South historically underperform their poll numbers with whites. We cannot count on a single southern state--again--unless the African-American turnout is spectacular. That leaves us needing to add to Kerry's states from 2004, and that could be tough. We need Ohio, for sure. We need New Mexico and Nevada. Iowa is in good shape for us now, but we're 10 months away. And can we hold Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan? It makes me sad to say it, but racism is still an issue, whether we acknowledge it or not. This is going to be a gunfight, and it will be a particularly nasty one. American conservatism is PREDICATED on racial and ethnic hatred. Obama has a real chance to make history in November, but there's a huge barrier he must overcome. It's just that simple.

When the Republicans argue that Obama has relatively little experience in the Big Leagues, how will we respond, especially if McCain is their nominee?

When the Republicans point out Obama's (outstanding) progressive record and scream "Liberal! Liberal! Liberal!", how do we beat this attack back?

And when the Right begins its (subtle to not-so-subtle) racial smear campaign, how will we respond?

Some of you will say, snarkily, "Oh let's just surrender to our fears and not nominate Obama." I'M NOT SAYING THAT. But a lot of my fellow Kossacks are letting their hearts run away with them. You've practically got Obama being sworn in right now, and you need to get a grip. If Obama is our guy, he can't play nice with these bastards. He's going to have to fight. And, as I said the other day, it will be up to those of us in the trenches to win it for him if he wants to take the high road.

I admire and respect Barack Obama, community organizer, state legislator, U.S. Senator, 46 year old political dynamo. But he ain't won nothin' yet, and the right is about to launch attacks on him more relentless than any we have ever seen. Think McGovern, Gore, and Kerry had tough fights? Wait until you see the right wing white male power structure go after the first black American with a real shot at the White House. So to all my Kos friends who love Obama, I say, calm down. We've got a hell of a lot of work to do, and this thing is just getting started.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

PLEASE Read Glenn Greenwald Today

If you need to get a day pass, or better yet, a Salon subscription, do it. No commentator in America is doing battle more effectively with the right wing media and the right wing authoritarian government this country is under the control of. Glenn's subject today is the utterly racist notion being propagated by the right that if Obama doesn't win, those uppity, trouble-making Negroes will riot and generally cause trouble. He then shows us which side has REALLY been rioting and using violence to win elections in the past 15 years--the conservatives. From his column:
The last time I can recall a "certain segment of American political life" becoming "completely unhinged" and causing "social unraveling" in connection with a national election was this episode in Miami, during the 2000 recount:

The "bourgeois riot" celebrated by Wall Street Journal columnist Paul Gigot helped stop the announced manual recount of the 10,750 undervote in Miami-Dade County. Instigated by an order from New York congressman John Sweeney to "shut it down," dozens of screaming GOP demonstrators pounded on doors and a picture window at elections headquarters. The canvassing board, which had already found a net Al Gore gain of 168 votes, reversed a decision it had made a couple of hours earlier to begin a tally of the undervote.

The mob gang-rushed a local Democrat carrying a blank sample ballot. They threatened that a thousand Cubans were on their way to the headquarters to stop the count. Several people were "trampled, punched or kicked," according to The New York Times. The canvassing board chair at first conceded that mob pressures played a role in the shutdown -- which cost Gore the 168 votes as well -- but later reversed his position. . . . .

Instead of condemning the Dade tactics, W. himself called the victory party that night to praise them, and Republicans invoked the specter of Jesse Jackson, who'd merely led peaceful protests outside election offices.The "certain segment" creating "social unraveling" and blocking vote-counting in 2000 with their thug tactics wasn't quite the same as the "certain segment" which Goldberg and Reynolds are ominously warning will riot in the event of an Obama loss: Most of those fist-waiving, threatening protesters were actually aides to GOP establishment figures, including Fred Thompson, Tom DeLay, Jim DeMint, and the NRCC, shipped to Miami to create a climate of intimidation and thus prevent pro-Gore votes from being counted. [End excerpt]
Yes, this was part the coup d' etat that put the most dangerous, dishonest, and corrupt government in our history in office. Republican vote suppression, Republican intimidation in the recount, and Republican Supreme Court justices, handing down a ruling that they specifically said could not be used as a precedent in any other case, delivered us into the disaster we are facing now.
Greenwald goes on to give us a preview of the kind of vicious, hideous ugliness we will face if Obama is indeed our nominee. He quotes a thread on Free Republic:
Is Hussein Obama the weakest Dem for the General election?

By sending forth Hussein Osama out of Iowa, Democrats have unwittingly weakened their general election prospects.

Hussein's exotic mixture of radical liberalism, Kwanzaa Socialism, antipathy towards the unborn, and weakness against his jihadi brethren will all come back to destroy him against almost any Republican opponent, even the snake-grope from Hope. . . .

As defenders of this great Republic, and of the pinnacle of Western civilization that it represents, we should all come together tonight and agree on a common strategy that will keep the White House from becoming a madrassa.
Folks, I've agreed for a long time with the view that the Republican strategy this year can be summed up as FNB, depending on whether we nominate Edwards, Obama, or Clinton: Fa**0t, Ni**er, Bi**h. (I refuse to use these obscenities unedited.) If Obama is nominated, the Republicans will use a variation called the Radical Islamo-Fascist Ni**er, and you will see every vile racist weapon short of burning crosses used to beat him. (And the radical religious right will convert Obama into a fire-breathing Bin Laden supporter and an enemy of Christ.) And if Obama is elected the 44th president, I think we know which side will explode in violence.
Obama is a wonderful man, but if he's nominated, he's going to need his friends in the Netroots to fight for him harder than they have ever fought before for anyone. It will be our job to get down into the trenches and wage war with the Republican slime machine. The right will use the methods of hatred, fear, and lies to a degree never seen in our history. They will do ANYTHING--including the use of violence--to prevent a progressive African-American from occupying the White House. We must allow Barack to stick to the high road, to be the quarterback with the clean uniform, while we grunts on the offensive line take the hits and get down and dirty.
Don't kid yourself--the radical right will not surrender power peacefully. It will have to be torn out of their hands. Are you ready? I mean, are you REALLY ready for how nasty this thing is really going to get? (Oh, and by the way: $10 a month from 10 million Democrats=victory in 2008.) Get ready for war, people--it's already here.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Yes, Iowa--and America--Will Go Blue

Total Voter Turnout (approximate)


Percentage of total vote
24.5% Obama
20.5% Edwards
19.8% Clinton
11.4% Huckabee (R)

Whoa. Their BEST guy was wiped out by our THIRD best? It's easy to see which side has the fire and the enthusiasm.

(From Group News Blog here.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Democratic Caucus Goers in Iowa Outnumber Republicans 2-1

Yes, TWO to ONE, folks. About 220,000 people attended the Democratic meetings, with independents well represented. Iowa will be Blue this November. And congratulations to Barack Obama for his victory in what I still see as an overly emphasized state.

Mike Huckabee slammed Willard Romney to the floor (ha!) and Giuliani finished with 4% (ha ha ha ha ha ha!). I say go Huckabee. The establishment Republicans hate his guts.

This roller coaster is just getting started, everyone.

UPDATE: Make that 236,000 attendees.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My 2 Cents on Iowa and New Hampshire

Where in the Constitution or the New Testament does it say that two of the smallest, least representative states in the Union get to decide our presidential candidates? Iowa's caucus system is absurdly complicated and effectively excludes anyone who doesn't have several hours to spare on a Thursday evening. New Hampshire ranks 41st in population and has one-half of one percent of the U.S.'s citizenry. Why on earth do the people of these two states (against whom I have nothing) have this much influence?
First and foremost, our ridiculous political press members have given it to them, against all logic or sanity. It is these "insiders" who have magnified the significance of these two minor and unimportant events to world-shaking proportions. Second, the two major parties don't want to antagonize these states by ignoring them or disciplining them (to avoid bad publicity from the press vultures, you see). Third, these two states insist on being first and in doing so have stretched out the whole campaign year to a preposterous length. (NH's primary used to be in March.) To gain influence other states moved their primaries forward, so NH and IA just kept moving their contests as well. I am convinced that if Florida moved its primary to 2 January that the Iowa caucus would be held on Thanksgiving.
Our political process has been crippled and distorted by this nonsense, as a tiny minority of voters in two small states get more influence than voters in California, Texas, and New York. Unless the parties decide to put the brakes on this nonsense, we'll have to go through this same insufferable kabuki dance again in 2012.
Starting, of course, on 21 January 2009.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Goal in 2008: a Democratic Party That Deserves Victory

Happy New Year! On 4 November we have a chance to put a jarring halt to the conservative insanity that has been killing our country since 2001. We have a chance to put a Democrat in the White House and greatly expand our majorities in Congress (and make the repulsive Joe Lieberman utterly irrelevant). But we will only do that if we deserve to--that is, if we take a stand against the people who are strangling this country to death, and if we aggressively push for a progressive agenda, an agenda the American people want. What, specifically, will this entail?
--It will mean challenging the power of the right-wing controlled corporate media and breaking the power of the smug little Villagers who control political discourse in this country. It will also take an all-out attack on a right wing smear machine of talk radio, Fox News, Matt Drudge, and the conservative "think tanks" (!) that feeds lies and slanders into our public debate 24/7.
--It will mean telling the Republican "base" to kiss our asses. They are NEVER going to vote for us. We have to stop trying to placate them and instead rally OUR base, remembering that two-thirds of the American people are against Bush. The more the despicable hard-right fanatics scream and complain about us, the more sure we may be that we are doing something right. FDR welcomed their hatred and laughed in their faces. So should we. And by the way, we need MORE Democratic partisanship, not less. We also need to rally the huge majority of Christians in this country who are NOT right wing lunatics. In other words, we need to say to all the Neo-Confederates, Swift Boaters, people who wore Purple Heart bandages to mock John Kerry, Pat Robertson worshipers, the old lady who called Hillary Clinton "bitch" in a question to John McCain, the readers of The Weekly Standard, Joseph Scheidler and his Anti-Sex brigade, The Club for Growth, the pathetic losers who drool over Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter's knuckle-dragging readers, and every single other right-wing asshole from sea to shining sea: "In the words of Dick Cheney: Go fuck yourself."
--It will mean a vigorous, populist set of programs, and a willingness to do battle with some of the most powerful reactionary forces in the world--insurance companies, Big Oil, Big Finance, and all the other groups that don't give a damn about the average American. It means National Health Care, rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the top 1%, taxing the hedge fund crooks, a genuine program to help people who are losing their homes to the mortgage meltdown, aggressive pursuit of alternative energy, all-out anti-warming environmental policies, calling for an end to the Iraq War, a renewed police and intelligence assault on terrorism, a commitment to reducing the national debt, genuine care for our veterans, genuine support for our military, unflinching support of the right to birth control, and every other policy the Idiot Right opposes. The polling data show it: THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE ON OUR SIDE ON EVERY ISSUE. Let's start acting like it.
--It will mean the most massive fund raising effort for progressive candidates in American history. The Right has money. Don't be fooled by the temporary drought in Republican fund raising. If the rightwingers see their interests genuinely being threatened, the money will be there. It means getting TEN MILLION DEMOCRATS TO CONTRIBUTE TEN DOLLARS A MONTH THROUGH 1 NOVEMBER. That means $1,100,000,000 for Democrats that are willing to fight for the American people. It CAN be done; it MUST be done. If we succeed in raising this much money, it means not only a Democratic president elected with 55-58% of the vote and 400 electoral votes, it means 30 new seats in the House and ten more in the Senate. It means a massive number of new Democratic seats in the state legislatures, just in time for the 2010 redistricting. It means a legitimate shot at getting rid of Inhofe, Coleman, McConnell, and every other loathsome Bush enabling bastard out there.
I'm fired up, I'm militant, I'm in no mood to compromise. I WILL SUPPORT ANY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OVER ANY REPUBLICAN. Do you understand me? I'm sick and tired of our internal battles. Our nation's life is at stake. The world your children and grandchildren will live in is at stake. This country is dying, and if the conservatives are able to maintain their deathgrip on America, there will be no hope of saving it. Any of our candidates would be light-years better than the liars, frauds, lunatics, authoritarians, theocrats, and idiots the Republicans are running. We need to EARN victory this year. We need to DESERVE it.
I'm ready. How about you?