Saturday, July 29, 2006
[The New York Times, in an editorial published on Sunday, endorsed Mr. Lamont over Mr. Lieberman, arguing that the senator had offered the nation a “warped version of bipartisanship” in his dealings with President Bush on national security.]
(tip from P O'Neill)
Fine, fine. But if that's the case, why won't Joe talk about the war? If he's the foreign policy leader we're supposed to embrace, why won't he, you know, lead on the damn issue?
I just don't understand.
Friday, July 28, 2006
It's a small thing, but an easy thing. An expected thing.
It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.
Anyway, it's generally bad form to compare people to mass murdering dictators, but that clearly wasn't the point of the comparison...
Whatever the reason, the fact is that the Bush administration continues to be remarkably successful at rewriting history. For example, Mr. Bush has repeatedly suggested that the United States had to invade Iraq because Saddam wouldn’t let U.N. inspectors in. His most recent statement to that effect was only a few weeks ago. And he gets away with it. If there have been reports by major news organizations pointing out that that’s not at all what happened, I’ve missed them.
It’s all very Orwellian, of course. But when Orwell wrote of “a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past,” he was thinking of totalitarian states. Who would have imagined that history would prove so easy to rewrite in a democratic nation with a free press?
Thursday, July 27, 2006
The war in Iraq is the issue of our time. Where's Lieberman on the issue? What does he think we should do about it?
On his campaign website he offers no information.
But, they can't do it alone. Please consider giving to one of these fine candidates or any of your personal favorites.
Local people can attend an inexpensive fundraiser for Patrick Murphy today.
The White House sees the risk but is banking, in part, on the Democrats' history of not capitalizing on such moments.
As long as we continue taking the sage advice from Christian Coalition-Heritage Foundation-McCain Staffer Marshall Wittman they can continue their restful sleep.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Norm Coleman Sr., the father of Minnesota's junior senator, was cited for lewd and disorderly conduct Tuesday after police officers reported finding him engaged in a sex act in a car near a pizzeria on E. 7th St. in St. Paul.
A police report said officers were called to Savoy Inn at 7:40 p.m. to investigate a report that two people were having sex in a car. The police report stated a woman, Patrizia Marie Schrag, 38, also was cited for lewd and disorderly conduct.
The elder Coleman, 81, raised his son in New York City. He has since moved to Minnesota, and public records indicate he lives in St. Paul.
Sen. Coleman issued the a statement after learning of the citation against his father.
"I love my father dearly," the senator said. "I do not condone his actions or behavior, and I am deeply disturbed by what I have learned. He clearly has some issues that need to be dealt with, and I will encourage him to seek the necessary help."
I think his issue is not waiting until sunset.
President Bush and national security adviser Stephen Hadley yesterday for the first time publicly acknowledged the momentous shift in the role for U.S. troops in Iraq, from fighting terrorists to trying to suppress religious violence.
This sea change was described in such understated terms that it was eclipsed by news about the crisis in Lebanon. Bush described a change in tactics; Hadley called it a repositioning.
But it's a historic admission: That job one for many American troops in Iraq is no longer fighting al-Qaeda terrorists, or even insurgents. Rather, it is trying to quell an incipient -- if not already raging -- sectarian civil war, with Baghdad as ground zero.
Arguably, that's been the case for quite a while. But having the White House own up to it is a very big deal.
As things stand now, an overwhelming majority of the American public no longer supports Bush's handling of the war, which they think was a mistake in the first place. A majority wants American troops to start coming home soon. What unqualified support there is for the war seems to come from people who believe it is central front in the war on terror.
Call McCain's offices and ask them if his ignorance or deception about this issue means he's unqualified to lead. Ask if he intends to apologize to those who smeared.
241 Russell Senate Ofc. Bldg.
United States Senate
, Washington DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2235
Fax: (202) 228-2862
5353 North 16th Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Phone: (602) 952-2410
Fax: (602) 952-8702
4703 S. Lakeshore Drive
Tempe, Arizona 85282
Phone: (480) 897-6289
Fax: (480) 897-8389
407 W. Congress Street
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Phone: (520) 670-6334
Fax: (520) 670-6637
And, a reminder that local folk can attend an inexpensive fundraiser with Patrick Murphy, Thursday at 5:30 at the Happy Rooster at 16th and Sansom.
People need to understand what Matt Stoller understands:
It's quite clear that Iraq is the signature issue, not just for this cycle, but for decades. It is a mess that we must manage, and it will probably be messy for a long time, and that mess is going to come home in many unexpected and dangerous ways.
I still don't know why we invaded Iraq. I still don't know what the architects hoped to achieve, or how they hoped to achieve those goals. Like The Editors I don't have any idea how to unshit the bed, but it isn't just going to go away.
Starting with the buildup to this needless war in Summer 2002, it’s been four years of waste, folly and lies. And failure. Lots and lots of failure. Now like some athritic slots junkie the remaining rump of American hawkery dreams of the one more war that will make good their losses to this point. Of course, they’re really our losses. Compounding.
You can do it your own way, or you can use this handy tool from the Lamont campaign which will help you follow up.
It's gonna come down to turnout at this point.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
- I’ve said nothing about war in Lebanon or Ethiopia because I have nothing to add, and also because - as you may or may not be aware - the United States is actually involved in a hugely bloody war right now, and this is more of a pressing concern to me personally. I don’t know the secret formula for unshitting any of these beds - I promise I wouldn’t be shy if I did - but I currently only have to sleep in one of them; and, as it turns out, that’s the one bed where I actually have some miniscule chance of influencing the situation. So that’s my concern.
- From KEITH OLBERMANN: Subject -- Response to Ailes. "Over the line?" Where was Roger Ailes when Bill O'Reilly defended the Nazi SS stormtroopers from Malmedy in World War II? The SS shot 84 American POW's there in 1944, and three different times in the last year, Bill called has called those dead American heroes war criminals. I guess there is no line at Fox News.
It would have made sense for Joe to float rumors about running as an independent for a couple of weeks and then instead of announcing that he was pulling petitions give a stirring tribute to the amazing wonderfulness of the Democratic party. He could've said that he's had to ignore his advisors who are begging him to make the jump because he just can't imagine running as anything but a Democrat, blah blah blah. It would've put a stop to the basic Lamont campaign narrative/momentum which had for weeks been built around Joe jumping ship.
But Joe couldn't do that, and now I imagine he's committed to his course.
PRINCETON, NJ -- A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds 37% of Americans approving of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 59% disapproving. Despite many extraordinary events dominating the news over the past weeks -- including the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Bush's high-visibility trip to Europe -- this slight drop from the 40% approval rating measured earlier in the month is not statistically significant and falls within the margin of error between the two surveys. The current 37% rating is similar to his average approval rating of 37% for all of June.
(via pony boy)
And, just for fun, they have a new plutonium plant. And the Bush administration hid this fact from Congress. Probably for the best, as Republicans were busy readying legislation to make Bush Supreme Exalted Emperor of the Universe even though Alberto keeps telling them not to bother as the AUMF ALREADY made him Supreme Exalted Emperor of the Universe.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Maybe it's those principles voters have a problem with.
BAGHDAD, July 24 (Reuters) - Iraq's morgues are overflowing and 100 civilians a day are killed in communal violence, but official statistics tell only part of the story of a slide into civil war -- for the rest, just listen to ordinary Iraqis.
President George W. Bush will hear the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, in Washington on Tuesday tell him of plans for stemming bloodshed in Baghdad and repeat assurances he gave on Monday that Iraq is not at war with itself.
But talk to people at random in the capital and a picture quickly emerges of a city where virtually everyone has a friend, relative or neighbour who has fallen victim to the sectarian shootings and death threats that Washington accepts are now an even bigger threat than the 3-year-old Sunni insurgency.
Every one of 20 people who spoke to Reuters around their workplace in central Baghdad, from a variety of sects and ethnic groups, had a horror story of conflict touching their lives.
Eight had lost family or close friends to gunmen, four had suffered from kidnaps in their immediate circle, four knew people well who had received death threats. Four knew people well who had died in bombings. Some had themselves been threatened.
Call your Senators. Call your Reps. The information is here. Let them know that people are paying attention. Let them know that people care.
Really, if there's one political phone call you make this year make this one. I know it often seems like this stuff achieves nothing, but it's a quiet (in Washington, anyway) week in July. Surprise them.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Joe Lieberman and I have been friends and colleagues for 38 years. We ran for and won seats in the Connecticut legislature as a team of reformers in 1970. He was my state senator and I was his state representative. He rose to Senate majority leader as I became speaker of the House. With others, we formed the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats, a progressive coalition, to further the causes of peace in Vietnam and justice at home.
As Joe points out, his record on a number of issues, such as the environment, is good. But on the two biggest issues of our times, he is dead wrong.
His blind support of the Iraq war, begun illegally and a continuing catastrophe, is monstrous.
And his defense of an incompetent president, a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism and an extremist administration that has perpetrated torture, illegal eavesdropping and a general shredding of the Constitution is insulting to the people who elected him in the first place.
Joe's constituency is not Bush and Cheney; it is the progressives and moderates, the blacks and Hispanics who gave him his start in politics. We feel he has betrayed us by becoming "Bush's favorite Democrat."
...listen to Ned play piano here.
A Process for Prisoners" speculated on how the Bush administration might work with Congress in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld .
Unfortunately, the democratic process envisioned, wherein the executive branch works with the legislative branch to produce mutually agreeable legislation, has been repeatedly undermined through President Bush's use of "signing statements." With these, President Bush signs the law, then demonstrates his contempt for American democracy by asserting that he will not implement the legislation as written, but rather as he sees fit. My speculation is that President Bush will sign a Hamdan-related law giving him huge media coverage and a political victory; then he'll quietly issue a signing statement contradicting the law's intent, and that will receive scant coverage.
With that, he'll demonstrate that his contempt isn't limited to Congress but also includes the Supreme Court (and the media, which will miss the real story).
*Troll bait. I rent. Our landlord, who is not named Soros, built the deck.
Time to set up the grill...mmm...lamb chops...
For those who are interested in following it, the best resource I'm aware of is The Next Mayor, a joint project of the Committee of 70, WHYY, and the PDN.
The real problem with Lieberman's position on Iraq isn't overweening civility, however. It is that he has abandoned his native moderation for utopian neoconservatism. His support for the invasion wasn't reluctant, nuanced or judicious; he saw a better world coming. Before the war, he told me that he hoped Saddam's fall would touch off a wave of democratic reform in the region. Given that the entire Middle East seems ready to collapse into chaos this summer, it might seem an appropriate time to revise or extend those remarks—to regret his naivete or defend his long-term vision or slam Bush for carelessly betraying that vision ... or something. But the Senator isn't doing that. Indeed, it sometimes seems his position is more reflexive than thoughtful. He still insists that progress is being made in Iraq. "What progress?" I asked. "There's an elected national-unity government," he said. "I don't want to overstate it, but we're beginning to reach out to the Sunni insurgency."
FOX NEWS SUNDAY (WTTG), 9 a.m.: U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton ; House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.); Plácido Domingo , general director of the Washington National Opera.
THIS WEEK (ABC, WJLA): Will not air because of British Open golf coverage.
FACE THE NATION (CBS, WUSA), 10:30 a.m.: Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon ; Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha ; Washington Post columnist David Ignatius .
MEET THE PRESS (NBC, WRC), 10:30 a.m.: White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten ; Washington Post staff writer Thomas E. Ricks .
LATE EDITION (CNN), 11 a.m.: Bolton ; Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.); Reps. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.); Mohamad Bahaa Chatah , senior adviser to the Lebanese prime minister; Israeli Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog ; author Gary Berntsen .
Buckley finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.
In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.
"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign," Buckley says.
Asked if the Bush administration has been distracted by Iraq, Buckley says "I think it has been engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other subject interests anybody other than Iraq. ... The continued tumult in Iraq has overwhelmed what perspectives one might otherwise have entertained with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with respect to Iran in particular."
"I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress, and in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge," Buckley says.
Asked what President Bush's foreign policy legacy will be to his successor, Buckley says "There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. … So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable"
Whatever one thinks Buckley - and sensible people don't think much of him - he at least has a bit of a brain. The only contemporary National Reviewer I'd say the same about is John Derbyshire, who while being a man with awesomely loathsome views is usually not an idiot.
Recent CW among certain circles has been that conservatives will try to rescuse conservatism from the clusterfuck of the Bush years by arguing that Bush was no conservative. That will happen to some degree, but it will mostly come from the slightly older conservative commentariat.
The slightly younger crowd had their adolescence in the Clinton years and came of age during the Bush years. This entire political movement has been about defending the actions of the Bush administration.