Friday, March 31, 2006

Oh dear! What's a lemming to do?


This is both hilarious and scary. Watch the new GOP web-based video ad. Catch it here at Crooks & Liars in case it gets taken down from GOP.com.

CA-50


This is an unlikely scenario, but fun to consider.

While Francine Busby has a huge lead on her Republican rivals in the latest polling for the April 11th CA-50 special election -- 45% to 14% for the second place challenger -- it will still be a difficult task to get to 50% by Election Day to avoid a June runoff. Howard Kaloogian, who's shown himself to be a complete doofus this week over so many things that came to light -- the "Baghdad" photo that was actually taken in Turkey, ridiculous explanations and followup, falsified endorsements, etc -- is polling in third place with 12%. (For the best place to follow the comedy of errors this week, go to Talking Points Memo.)

As I originally suggested, Kaloogian's support may fall apart, and other Republicans (and Independents and somewhat indifferent Democratics) may see one more reason not to trust Republican candidates this time around, period. That could transform the election into a Busby win outright.

On the other hand, Kaloogian's outlandish claims of being victimized by liberals and the media, as he only made an honest mistake and then owned up to it, may earn him brownie -- gotta love than term now -- points and sympathy votes with the brain-dead from the far right.

If Francine doesn't get the necessary 50%, then I'd love to see KaLULUgian end up second, because she'll be able to absolutely mop the floor with this creep one-on-one.

Francine needs your help to get over the top:

Color Me Shocked

Frist's Senate Leadership Faulted as Self-Serving:
As he prepares to leave the Senate and position himself for a presidential bid, Bill Frist faces mounting criticism that he has proved an ineffectual majority leader whose legislative agenda increasingly is dictated by his White House ambitions.

Complaints about the patrician Tennessean by fellow Republicans intensified this week, sparked by his decision to force Senate debate on illegal immigration. Some GOP lawmakers say his move spotlighted a squabble within the party over a hot-button issue in an election year.

Frist? Ineffective? Self-serving?

Next thing ya know, you're gonna tell me that this whole war thing in Iraq is just a big mess.

Oh. Right.

My Kind of Town...

According to The Chicago Sun Times, that august city may decide not to enforce criminalization of illegal immigrants:
If the great immigration debate now raging in Congress is decided in a way that turns illegal immigrants into criminals, Chicago Police officers and other city employees would not enforce it, the City Council decided Wednesday.

Three weeks after a massive rally in Chicago demanding better treatment of immigrants, Chicago aldermen blazed another trail on the red-hot issue.

They turned a 1989 executive order on immigration into law.
I was born in Chicago nearly 40 years ago, but was a mere babe when my family moved away and have not been back since. I've always wanted to check out the city of my birth. Now I have an additional reason to do so.

I hope Los Angeles follows the same path.

Hear me Rohr--abacher


From AP: "I say let the prisoners pick the fruits," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, one of more than a dozen Republicans who took turns condemning a Senate bill that offers an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants an opportunity for citizenship.

Little Brother

Click through and enjoy. Buy a shirt. (I bought two.) Wear it everywhere, so people know that somebody else is watching, too.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Go Busby!


In the latest Survey USA poll, Francine Busby is up to 45% (+/- 5% margin of error) in CA-50. 50% +1 vote needed to avoid a runoff. With Kaloogian's (12%) latest flap, that might throw a few more percent from his column up for grabs and also raise additional disdain for any Republican.

Our efforts are paying off. Almost there.... keep it up!

Oh, brother! CA-50

Updates at bottom....

Howard Kaloogian, Bush apologist extraordinaire, is one of the handful of Republicans chasing frontrunner Democrat Francine Busby in the April 11th special election to fill the 50th Congressional District seat.

The graphic above, borrowed from Jesus' General, is a wonderful parody on a photo that Kaloogian posted on his site. Seems that Kaloogian was in Iraq recently, and in order to demonstrate how peaceful and normal things are in Baghdad he posted this photo:

with this caption: Downtown Baghdad We took this photo of dowtown [sic] Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.

Something not look right about this photo of "Downtown Baghdad"? Seems that a large consensus has developed that this photo was not taken in Baghdad or even at another location in Iraq, but most likely in Turkey. Follow the details under anthonyLA's diary at Kos or at Democratic Underground.

Kaloogian's site has been funky today and who knows how long before the photo is possibly taken down, but you can check it out here.

Kaloogian: Bush apologist.... and apparently he has the same ethics as well.

Support Francine Busby here.


Update! Proof that Howie's photo was taken in the Istanbul suburb of Bakirkoy.

Is Howard a liar? Check here.... and more at TPM Muckraker.

Update 2! Oh, brother. Is that guy a bad/sad joke or what??? See here...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Nothing up my sleeve.... Presto!


Republican Senators Kyl (AZ) and Graham (SC), along with a cameo by Brownback (KS), seem to think that there's nothing wrong with submitting fabricated evidence to the U.S. Supreme Court.


From The Anonymous Liberal:

Today the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The Court will be called upon to determine--among other things--whether a provision in last year's Detainee Treatment Act ("DTA") effectively strips the Court of jurisdiction to hear Hamdan's case. The Government contends that it does and in support of this position, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John Kyl have filed an amicus brief with the Court.

This amicus brief argues that the legislative history of the DTA supports the Government's position. Specifically, the brief cites a lengthy colloquy between Senators Kyl and Graham themselves which purportly took place during a Senate floor debate just prior to passage of the bill. In the exchange, both Kyl and Graham suggest that the bill will strip the courts of jurisdiction over pending detainee cases such as Hamdan. But here's where the story gets interesting.

Apparently this entire 8 page colloquy--which is scripted to read as if it were delivered live on the floor of the Senate, complete with random interruptions from other Senators--never took place. It was inserted into the Congressional Record in written form just prior to passage of the bill.

Continued....

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Timidity is an outrage - track your representative

First off, my apologies for being off the grid for awhile. So let's discuss the failure of many incumbent democrats in both houses of Congress. What is this failure you ask? It is the failure to be both courageous and take advantage of legislation introduced by more stalwart members of either house.

In discussing this type of behavior; let's just look at two bills. First we have the Jack Murtha resolution to establish a time to leave Iraq, build no permanent bases in Iraq, and disengage in an orderly fashion. This bill came from a Democratic Hawk, and his House Resolution should have brought democrats of all stripes out in massive support.
Liberal house members could stand up in support unabashedly; and moderates could use this bill as cover to avoid being called to liberal! If one supports a decorated hero and house member like Murtha; you can argue it is the responsible thing to do. The timidity with which the democrats came on board is embarrassing. Is it the every two years to run for election.

Well then, let's look to the US Senate where two thirds are not running in this coming midterm elections. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin introduces his bill to Censure the current White House occupant for illegal wiretapping in contravention of the law! Senators rushed to support this timely and appropriate action. Not so,
again the democratic timidity of our nation's democratic legislators was very apparent.

In my next blog we will discuss the myth of incumbency as something sacred!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fighting back in South Dakota


Ah, the further consequences of passing the draconian anti-abortion bill:

1 . Untouchable planned parenthood clinic. From the blog "Bitch Ph.D.":

Cecilia Fire Thunder, the President of the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota, speaks truth to the white boys who think they run things in her country.
“I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”
If you want to support this effort, follow the link...


2. Petition drive to overturn the law has started. From Reuters:

Abortion-rights supporters planned to launch an attack on Friday on a new South Dakota abortion law designed as a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 33 years ago.

An abortion-rights coalition, South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, said it would lay out its strategy to take down the law in mid-morning news conferences in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

The Sioux Falls local newspaper [ed. Argus Leader] reported that the group would announce a petition drive to overturn the law through a referendum in November. The group has not publicly detailed its strategy, but participants in the campaign have said that a referendum had advantages over a lawsuit.

"When you take things to the courts you don't have the opportunity to engage the public in the process. You don't have the ability to build a movement," said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kate Looby.
.
.
.
A petition drive would fly in the face of the expectations of abortion opponents, who have been counting on a legal challenge to the law in the hopes that the case would eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

With two conservative justices recently appointed to the high court, abortion opponents believe they have an improving chance of overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established the right to abortion.

Reuters link.....

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A license to do something or other

I've mentioned my car before in this blog: a 1991 Acura Integra LS, 232,000 miles.... Not too many of those fine cars still around -- at least once a year somebody leaves a note on the car asking whether I want to sell it -- so I took notice upon spotting one (same deep red color too) in the Sherman Oaks Trader Joe's parking lot this afternoon. But I had to do a doubletake when I saw the license plate:


Perhaps a dancer, but could be a life-long Democrat too.

So while I was staring at the car, a woman noticed my sorta peculiar behavior and we started talking..... and I ended up recruiting another grassroots volunteer.

Remember to always keep your salesperson hat on!

License plate image created at ACME license maker.

Nancy Pelosi's Grassroots Campaign Fund 2006


I just got this email from Nancy Pelosi, via the DCCC. Did you?
Dear randy,

In the next few days we cannot win the 2006 elections, but we can lose them.

And, what you do in the next few minutes will be a critical factor in determining which outcome will occur.

You can simply hit the "delete" button and read the rest of your emails. Or, you can stand up and say enough is enough! America cannot take three more years of one-party Republican rule in Washington, D.C. Join with millions of Democrats across American in our 2006 Grassroots Campaign Plan for victory.

And, in eight days the all important end-of-quarter fundraising deadline will be upon us. Political pundits and the media will assess our strength and commitment by how much money we raise. We know you have stood [sic] on many campaigns, such as us [sic] when we battled the Republicans and demanded oversight, accountability, an end to the culture of corruption and I would like to thank you. But today, I am asking you to take the next step with us and consider making a contribution.

blah, blah, blah....
(emphasis in original)

But aha! I came up with a third option that Nancy didn't consider. I replied with the following:
Grasssroots campaign.... funny!

When you start listening to the grassroots, then you can ask for money from the grassroots.

Supporting censure -- right now

Nothing is driving me crazier this week than the cowardice of some Democrats on censure. (And given everything the Bush administration is up to, that's saying something.) So I was delighted when moveon.org emailed me about their electronic letter-writing campaign to national, regional, and local newspapers. It's simplicity in itself to get moveon's wonderful letter-writing campaign

It took me, I guess, three minutes to write and email the following to three newspapers. If you haven't done so yet, please take action now. And I've got to tell you, I had to choke hard to type "President Bush." First time yet that I've done it.


Dear Sirs:

President Bush's recent response to Senator Russell Feingold's effort to censure him sounds suspiciously like more "bring it on": braggadocio laced with ignorance.

Feingold's attempt to censure Bush for illegal wiretapping isn't about terrorism -- although the Bush administration would like to make it so. It's about not flouting the law. The Bush administration would like to believe it is above the law -- that it can subvert the law -- even when the administration could legally seek the wiretapping authority it desires.

The administration's actions are unconstitutional and illegal, and its wiretapping to date is probably far more widespread than it admits. If no one is willing to stand up to them then clearly we do live under an imperial presidency. We should all support Feingold on censure, and shame on his fellow Senators -- especially Democrats -- who don't.

Gay marriage becoming more accepted


Though more than half of Americans still oppose gay and lesbian marriage, opposition is dropping noticeably.

In the latest Pew Research national poll: 39% support, 51% oppose. In the comparable Pew poll from February, 2004: 30% support, 63% oppose.

In the California Field Poll, 43% support, up from 39% in 1997. (Statistically non-significant, but at least hinting in the right direction.)

More from Pew....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

All idiots in Wisconsin, please raise your hand...


... but be careful not to knock your blinders off in the process.

The RNC has started running radio ads in Wisconsin attacking Russ Feingold over his call for censure. Here's the text. (If I come across a link to the audio, I'll update.)
September eleventh changed our country.

And it changed how America responds to terrorists.

President Bush is working to keep American families safe.

Passing the Patriot Act which has disrupted over one hundred and fifty terrorist threats and cells and making sure the US is monitoring terrorist communications.

But some Democrats are working against these efforts to secure our country, opposing the Patriot Act and terrorist surveillance program.

Their leader is Russ Feingold.

Now Feingold and other Democrats want to censure the President. Publicly reprimanding President Bush for pursuing suspected members of al Qaeda.

Some Democrats are even calling for President Bush’s impeachment.

Is this how Democrats plan to win the War on Terror?

Call Russ Feingold and ask him why he’s more interested in censuring the President than protecting our freedom.

Glenn Greenwald tears a big one in both Democratic and Republican arguments: "Myth-making and excuse-making on the Feingold Resolution". Well worth reading.

(Note on "some Democrats": Is the mainstream media finally getting wise to the Bush/Republican/Fox News, etc. straw man argument?)


Update: The audio is at the RNC web site. What a load of crap.

Unions vs. Arnold (redux)


Unions Protest Gov's Fundraising
Labor groups say Schwarzenegger is seeking
special-interest cash for his reelection.

LATimes:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's drive to raise tens of millions of dollars for his reelection has set off a backlash by organized labor, with unions trying to ensure that his hunt for money remains a prime source of political trouble.

In Beverly Hills on Monday, unions held their first major protest of the year against the Republican governor's collection of campaign money. About 200 nurses, bus drivers, school clerks and other union members marched outside a private Schwarzenegger reception and dinner for donors, who paid up to $100,000 for seats near the governor and his guest speaker, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

As Schwarzenegger was ensconced with top supporters inside the Beverly Hilton, sign-waving protesters shouted from the sidewalks outside at rush-hour traffic on Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards.

"Money in, favors out, that's what Arnold's all about!" they yelled.

Just before the dinner, police ejected several dozen nurses from the hotel lobby as they shouted "Shame on Arnold!" and "Stop the corruption!"

The scenes were similar to the dozens of protests that organized labor held last year during its successful battle to kill Schwarzenegger's November ballot initiatives. This year, of course, the target is his reelection.

The unions' core message on Monday — that Schwarzenegger broke his campaign pledge to shun special-interest money — is part of a broader effort by labor and its Democratic allies to cast the governor as a standard politician who fails to keep his word.

Continued....

Eeny Meeny Chili Beany


Making predictions. Oh, so difficult. Especially when they're about the future.

But our prescient president has the perfect workaround: let the other guy worry about all the messes that he creates. (OMG, he slipped up and admitted the truth!)
Asked if there would come a day when there would be no more U.S. forces in Iraq, Bush said, "That, of course, is an objective. And that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

On terrestrial and extraterrestrial oaths

For the most part, I don't have anything against anyone else's religion unless it's about, say, blowing up other people.

If your religion tells you that there's an alien creature secretly controling you from inside, that's fine with me. At least it explains some of your behavior.

If you believe the Earth is an egg laid by the turtle god, I'll disagree. I may even laugh. But I won't get all worked up.

If you think it's God's will that you are president, clearly I can't talk you out of it, so that doesn't bother me either. Well, it bothers me because it says an awful lot about you, but there's nothing I can do about it.

It's when you put your religion before your sworn Constitutional duty that I get bothered. I don't put the Constitution above "God" -- whatever your notion of that is. But I do prize duty and truth, and when you swear to uphold an oath, you should do it. People whose religion demands that they countermand an oath of office shouldn't take that oath.

It's that simple.

And every once in a while, someone cuts to the truth of that matter, as with this recent anecdote, provided by a friend:

On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis at a hearing on the proposed
Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin,
professor of law at AU, was requested to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican State Senator Nancy Jacobs said: "Mr.
Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What
do you have to say about that?"

Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed
your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not
place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

The room erupted into applause.

That old time religion (money)

Here's the headline from MSNBC.com:

Grants flow to Bush allies on social issues
Federal programs direct at least $157 million to conservative groups

CA-50

Update on the 50th CD special election by mcjoan at Kos:
The special election for Cunningham's seat is coming right up, April 11. This race could very well end up being a preview of the depth of both Bush fatigue and dismay with Republican corruption come November. Today's San Francisco Chronicle has an article on how California's GOP heartland is starting to tinge purple.
While many conservative voters who spoke with The Chronicle remain supportive of America's military men and women, an increasing number are disillusioned with the nation's leader. And from the VFW halls to the local cafes, an increasing number in the region are expressing a profound concern about the human and financial costs of the continued Iraq conflict.

...

The Iraq war "did not protect us after 9/11. (Bush) was supposed to get bin Laden,'' said Marilyn Joy Shephard, 62, of Escondido, who has been a registered Republican since the Reagan era.
...

Tellingly, Shephard was one of a handful of Republicans in Escondido attending a house party for a Democrat, Francine Busby, a school board member from Cardiff-by-the-Sea who hopes to win the solidly Republican 50th congressional district seat vacated by GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham after his conviction on corruption charges. A special election is scheduled for April 11.
Busby is polling very well against a massive array of Republicans. With a ticket this large, it's unlikely that she'll come out of the special election with better than 50%, and will face a run-off during California's primary in June. But a very strong showing by Busby in this very Republican district will put some juice will have a tremendous nation-wide impact.

You know what to do!

mcjoan at Kos....

South Dakota as a microcosm of the nation

The previous post dealt with some initial fallout resulting from the draconian anit-abortion bill recently signed into law in South Dakota.

This issue may very well be the tipping point to raise the consciousness of the rest of America about the undue and dangerous influence of the religious right on public policy in this nation.

In his Cleveland appearance on Monday at the City Club Dubya was asked outright:
QUESTION: Thank you for coming to Cleveland, Mr. President, and to the City Club.

My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips in his latest book, "American Theocracy," discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the Apocalypse. Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the Apocalypse? And if not, why not?
Dubya stumbled and mumbled for 5 minutes -- no kidding -- and still didn't/couldn't/wouldn't answer the question. Crooks & Liars has the amazing video.

Crooks & Liars also has video of Kevin Phillips discussing his new book with Lou Dobbs. Don't miss it.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Remaking the Rounds in South Dakota

South Dakota governor Mike Rounds has had a remarkably consistent approval rating ranging from 70 to 75% in the Survey USA monthly state polls between May, 2005 and February, 2006. In the March, 2006 poll -- conducted after Rounds signed the most draconian anti-abortion bill in the nation -- his approval droppped to 58%.

It's imperative that we deal in a rational manner with the difficult details, but the goal of "safe, legal and rare" abortion works for me. I'm clearly not as pro-choice, in all its iterations and ramifications, as most of my associates, but the South Dakota approach was undeniably wrong. The Bible thumpers who would go further to deny contraception, deny a safe morning after pill, deny the plain facts of science and biology that prove inconvenient for their religion represent nothing short of -- let's use a biblical term -- an abomination on our nation if left unchecked.

Apparently the South Dakota plan was the wrong thing to do politically too, even in a rather conservative state.

Take note.

The Unstated Truth


One of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the nation took effect Friday in the upscale Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. The smoking ordinance, which was unanimously passed by the five-member Calabasas City Council last month, prohibits smoking in all public places, indoor or outdoor, where anyone might be exposed to secondhand smoke.

Truth.

The LaLa Times, an online satire magazine, follows up on this story with the unstated truth:
"When we told the truth of how we lied to people about the potential effects of smoking, we assumed that you people would cut us some slack. But [this] just makes us want to lie all over again."
Jim Druthers, Tobacco industry spokesman

(Disclosure: I am a contributor to The LaLa Times, but had no part in this particular story.)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

walk the line

One of the most wonderful yet challenging things about being an activist is the opportunity we have to forge new friendships. That comes along pretty rarely once you're an adult. Think about it...when did you meet the people you consider your closest, dearest friends? College? Grad school? For most of us, it was when we were in our twenties and as yet unencumbered by family, spousal, and work obligations. Those we're closest to know us intimately and know our behavior, as we know theirs. The boundaries and rules of these relationships were set long ago.

Upon becoming activists, we began interacting with a whole passel of exciting, new, provocative folks. Let's face it, progressive politics attract some colorful characters. Those rusty people skills had to get sharpened up in a hurry. All of a sudden, there were new egos to be finessed, negotiations to be made, "no" when we're used to "yes", and hidden meanings to be inferred (or not) from passing comments. We encountered all kinds of unfamiliar personalities, running the gamut from passive-aggressive to...uhh...just plain aggressive.

And that's just within our own genders. Throw sex into the mix and suddenly you've got countless opportunities for misunderstandings, bruised feelings, and trespassed boundaries. Yes, you can make some wonderful new friends of the opposite sex who open up for you an entirely new way of looking at the world, but you can also inadvertently step on a Venus/Mars miscommunication landmine, with disastrous results.

As progressives, and regardless of our private views on the complex issue of abortion, we surely are all aghast and disgusted by the draconian law passed by the South Dakota state legislature forcing a woman who becomes pregnant by rape to bear the child. It feels like there's an element of punishment to it, an unspoken mumur of "she asked for it."

We all know someone who has endured the horror of a physical sexual assault. It stamps its victim with an indelible trauma...the worst part of which is the nagging self-blame, the sense that somehow, you brought this on yourself. This is especially true in cases of date rape and acquaintance rape, where the victim knows the attacker and wonders if he or she gave some cue, some remark or behavior, to provoke the attack.

Without trivializing the horrors these souls have undergone, I would like to propose that there are other forms of sexual assault that we, as progressives, need to be aware of. They may not be as traumatic to experience, but they are hurtful and demoralizing nonetheless. Inappropriate remarks, touching, or behavior are unacceptable in any situation, but even more so within our various organizations. We are all working so hard to manifest our ideals, to take our country back from the bullies who oppress and abuse minorities, women, gays, the poor, the uninsured, and the veterans. We must walk the talk among ourselves and treat each other with the respect we demand from those who serve us. We created these organizations so their memberships could feel empowered; if one member walks away from an activity feeling belittled or objectified, and that somehow it was his or her own fault, then we have negated our purpose.

Friday, March 17, 2006

an open statement to senate democrats

Yeah, it's a statement instead of a letter. You want to know why? Because I couldn't think of any salutation other than "You spineless, shortsighted fuckwads". And that's not any kind of greeting to use if you want your letter read. So I opted for a statement instead. Here it goes...

Okay, people, now you've done it. With all your ineffectual, namby-pamby, fraidy-cat fear of rocking the boat, you've actually chalked up quite an accomplishment: you've made me hate my own party. And that's not an easy thing to do. Being a Democrat is hard-wired into my DNA. My grandfather, who emigrated here from Eastern Europe, used to tell us: "Look at every side of the issue objectively, and then vote Democratic." My hatred of the Republicans was bred into me. It's reflexive; they are the enemy. They are the opponents, thus, we behave in opposition to them...but not to our own goddam people.

I cannot, in good conscience, associate myself with a party that cuts down and abandons the one soul in the Senate who has the *gasp* audacity, the temerity, the complete and utter insolence to suggest that maybe THE GUY WHO HOLDS THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE LAND OUGHT TO BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE FOR PISSING ALL OVER THE CONSTITUTION. Good God, the way you people are reacting, you'd think poor Feingold rollerbladed into the Capitol building wearing a sequined Speedo and an "I heart Sodomy" t-shirt.

How could you hang him out to dry like that? What do you possibly think there is to gain? Almost three-quarters of the country think Bush lied about Iraq and should be impeached for it. And all Feingold was suggesting was censure. Censure, people. Issuing a statement that says that maybe George ought to think about, oh, THE LAW OF THE LAND before he issues a wiretap on an American citizen. Good Christ, I've bottlefed orphaned 3-day-old kittens who showed more bravery than you poor sorry bastards.

So, here's the deal. Not only do you not get any more money from me. That's a given, ever since Alito. But now, you owe me money. Yeah, you heard me right. You owe me for every doorbell I've rung, every cold call I've made while phonebanking, and every single dollar I've given you over the years, with interest. Plus, I expect to be reimbursed for every bottle of wine and antidepressants that I've purchased since 2004, since you're directly responsible for my needing them. Oh, and you're going to have to cough up the full price for the pills because I've got no health insurance...nice going there, too.

You'll be receiving phone calls on a weekly basis until you arrange payment. Please feel free to send a check or money order, or just give me your credit card number. My people will take care of the rest. And in the case of nonpayment, I'll just turn your names over my collection agency. It's not like you've got bankruptcy protection to fall back on anymore.

What a Weenie


Let's make sure we remember this cop-out come 2007/2008 about likely presidential candidate Evan Bayh (from The Indianapolis Star):

But the first thing Democrats need to do, Bayh said, is take Republicans on in an area they've dominated: national security.

"It's a threshold issue for us, and it's a threshold issue for America," Bayh said. "People aren't going to trust us with anything else if we first can't convince them to trust us with their lives."

Before he spoke, Bayh told reporters that he does not support efforts by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., another potential 2008 presidential candidate, to censure Bush for authorizing domestic eavesdropping. Bayh said it's not clear whether the law requiring court approval before surveillance was broken, and he instead favors revisiting and possibly updating the law.

Continued....
"Revisiting and possibly updating the law..." ?? Now I don't trust him.

Senator Evan Bayh
463 Russell Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5623

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Now it makes sense to me


Andy Borowitz has it all figured out:

STUDY: AMBIEN USERS INVADE COUNTRIES IN THEIR SLEEP

Wake Up With No Memory of Reasons for Invasion, No Exit Strategy


A mounting pile of anecdotal evidence suggests that users of the popular sleep medication Ambien may invade countries in their sleep, and then wake up with no memory of the reasons they invaded, according to a study released today.

The study, conducted by the University of Minnesota, attempts to shed light on a little-known side effect of Ambien, in which users who are fast asleep go on country-invading binges.

Dr. Davis Logsdon, who supervised the University of Minnesota study, said that Ambien users who have no memory of invading countries while asleep wake up with no idea of what to do with the country they invaded.

“Making matters worse, they have no exit strategy, either,” Dr; Logsdon said. “Their only option is to remain in the country they invaded, and keep taking Ambien.”

the rest....

The Friendliest Ghost Around


Sung to the tune of "Casper the Friendly Ghost"

Casper, the Senate minority ghost
The friendliest ghost you know!
Activists might look at him with fright,
But Republicans love him so.

He always says hello
And they’re really glad to see him.
‘Cause his convictions are so ephemeral
They can always beat him.

Most Democrats don’t understand
Why Casper won’t complain
When the GOP bankrupts the country
And flushes the Constitution down the drain.

Casper, the Democrat leadership ghost
Knows Bush is in the cellar.
And still he won’t kick up a fuss
He’s just too nice a feller.

I just don’t understand
Why he’s kind to every creature.
I guess that’s just the leadership brand
Of Casper, the see-through leader.

dedicated to the 41 Senate Democrats
so far who won't stand with Russ Feingold on censure
and to Harry Reid for his transparent leadership

But, but... we didn't want to miss the "I Love Lucy" marathon


From AP: Iraq Parliament Meets, Quickly Adjourns
Iraq's new parliament was sworn in Thursday, with parties still deadlocked over the next government, vehicles banned from Baghdad's streets to prevent car bombings and the country under the shadow of a feared civil war.

The long-expected first session, which took place within days of the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, lasted just over 30 minutes and was adjourned indefinitely because the legislature still has no speaker.

Adnan Pachachi, the senior politician who administered the oath in the absence of a speaker, spoke of a country in crisis.

"We have to prove to the world that a civil war is not and will not take place among our people," Pachachi told lawmakers. "The danger is still looming and the enemies are ready for us because they do not like to see a united, strong, stable Iraq."

As Pachachi spoke, he was interrupted from the floor by senior Shiite leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who said the remarks were inappropriate because of their political nature.

Read on....

That Pachachi feller sounds like a real traitor, eh?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Spirit of '06


A witty and astute friend posted the following at his Kos diary (code name Thalio). Seems that our American dilemma in 2006 is incredibly analagous to what the Revolutionary colonists faced in 1776. And that provides a perfect opportunity for our opposition party to reframe the debate.

The Spirit of '06 - A Rallying Cry for the Patriots of the Democratic Party

We don't stand for anything. Sick of hearing it? So am I. I was lurking the other day on a right wing blog that had been mentioned here in Kos when I saw this eye-opener.

Conservative = faith and strength
Liberal = secularism and weakness

There it was. That's how simply they saw it. And I realized that unless we could neutralize that position and do it just as simply, we were in trouble. Well, I've had a vision, and I've seen the message and the frame that I believe can get that job done.

Frame: The American Revolutionary War

Message: We, the Democratic Party, the true patriots, represent a return to the basic American principles of liberty and accountability.

Republicans are currently positioned as the party of strength and faith, making it easy for them to represent the opposing party as the party of weakness and secularism. Anyone in advertising will tell you that you don't attack an established position by trying to claim it. Coke is the real thing, therefore Pepsi cannot be the real thing, even if Pepsi spends billions of dollars saying it is. But Pepsi can be the choice of a new generation, repositioning Coke as the drink for old fogies who are getting left behind.

We must reposition Republicans as the party that is anti-personal liberty and is without accountability to the people. Democrats may then claim liberty and accountability as the natural position of the opposition party.

Frames are powerful, and we have lucked into one. The Spirit of '06 works within the frame of the American Revolutionary War. Using this rallying cry we can begin to paint Republican anti-liberty positions in a Revolutionary War frame. We can enumerate instances of Republican unaccountability - in a Revolutionary War frame. And we can lay out the Democratic platform - Liberty and Accountability - and we can do it in a Revolutionary War frame.

EXAMPLES

  • This is not just a congressional election year - this is a revolution against an imperial government. We are the spirit of '06 (oh-six).

  • An important grievance of the patriots of 1776 was that King George governed at a distance, and for this reason had little accountability to the American people. The current King George (and Lord Cheney) also govern at a distance, and without accountability. They are secretive and imperious, claiming the right to act without congressional and judicial oversight so long as they see fit.

  • The King's spies were everywhere in 1776 and so they are again in '06.

  • Then, as now, King George asked Americans to give up some of their liberties, and in return promised that his might would keep them safe. But it was and is a false bargain: give up your liberties and I will protect you from those who would take away your liberties. Nonsense. We the people will protect our liberties from enemies foreign and domestic, and we will start by dethroning King George and his Lords.

  • The American Revolution inspired democracy abroad by making a stand for liberty here at home. You don't light the beacon of freedom by occupying and setting a foreign land ablaze.

  • The King governed by Divine Right and considered himself the chosen representative of God. George Bush has called himself "God's man in the White House" and behaves as if he too has a divine right to rule.

  • America was founded in part by people seeking freedom of religion. Church and State ruled together in England, and American Patriots sought to prevent that happening here. King George Bush seeks to re-unite church and state, and patriots must once again oppose those efforts and defend our country's true historical principles.

The culture war that the Republicans have been waging is rooted in religion. Well, let the Republicans be the party of religion - and let it be known that they really mean the extreme Christian Right. The Democrats are the party of "Freedom of Religion," which is the real American tradition.

Our nation's laws are based on the principles of liberty and accountability. Accounting simply means taking stock of what's yours, mine, and ours. If your liberty doesn't interfere with what is mine or ours, it's your business. When it does, we protect what is yours and ours with laws based on truths that are self-evident, not the dogma of any one group's holy books. That's the America our founding fathers fought for. That's the America we Democrats are fighting for now.

Our message and our view of the opposition are simple.

Democrats = liberty and accountability
Republicans = oppression and unaccountability
Thalio's Kos diary....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Screenwriting 101

Plot summary for "High Noon" (1952)

A retiring lawman about to leave town with his new bride unsuccessfully seeks allies among the fearful townspeople when an outlaw he put in prison returns with his gang to take revenge in this classic western.




Plot summary for "The Party That Wasn't There" (2006)

A U.S. Senator working tirelessly for liberty and justice unsuccessfully seeks allies among cowering Democratic Senators when an out-of-control outlaw president takes revenge against the Constitution in this shameful political tale.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Finally -- A Chance to Say, "Enough!"

Please, Sir, may I have more?

More spine from the "opposition" party?

Here's your chance.

According to MSNBC.com, "Move to censure Bush will have political fallout: Democrats object as Frist tries to get Senate vote on Feingold resolution"

In other words, we haven't even had a vote, but we're doomed to go down again.

Y'know what? This is one beachhead I'd be willing for us to die on. It's better than staying in the cabana once again to watch the invasion -- which is what the Democratic leadership has done again and again. The idea that Bush can autocratically suspend any law he doesn't like strikes at the heart of the republic -- this is one we have to fight for. Don'tcha love how the story points out that it's DEMOCRATS who don't want this vote? For Pete's sake....

RIGHT NOW, call Dianne Feinstein at 310 914 7300 and Barbara Boxer at 213 894 5000 and tell them that you expect them to come out in support of Russ Feingold's Censure Motion immediately.

We don't want weeks of temperature-taking and hand-wringing. And I don't care if it's a "political stunt" by Feingold -- the charge leveled against him. It's better than being just plain stunted.

Thanks to Kevin Harrop, political action chair of the Burbank Democrats, for rightly providing the prodding on this one.

ACTION ALERT: Call on Congress to pass HR 4197 - Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina!

From Backbone Campaign:
Families devastated by Katrina need our help NOW!
Tuesday's demonstration in D.C. needs support from citizen lobbyists like you.
Call on Congress to pass HR 4197!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please show solidarity with those marching in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 14 by calling your members of Congress. We must make Katrina victims' demands into our demands. Start today and keep it up until HR 4197 is law. Below is information on tomorrow's Washington, D.C. actions, katrinamarch.org, HR 4197 and Wednesday's looming evictions. The Backbone Campaign would like to express our gratitude to the leadership of the Hip Hop Caucus for making this happen. Please take action now!

Hip Hop Caucus Rally: (Adapted from the PDA website)

This Wednesday, March 15th, the administration is going to put Katrina survivors into the streets to become America's new homeless--while thousands of trailers in Hope, Arkansas sit vacant (see "Arkansas Congressman Tours FEMA Storage Site"). New Orleans mothers and children will be forced onto the streets as FEMA evicts Katrina victims from hotels. Since the executive branch controls FEMA, that means President Bush is responsible. He promised to spend whatever it takes to ensure the recovery of the Gulf Coast region. He promised to ensure that the displaced would be able to return home. He has broken his promise to Katrina survivors and to this nation. This is an outrage! We cannot and will not sit by while our own government forces our brothers and sisters onto the streets.

Please take action now!
Please call your members of Congress today and ask for their support of HR 4197, sponsored by Rep Melvin L. Watt, (NC-12). This bill will provide for the recovery, reclamation, restoration and reconstruction of lives and communities, and for the reunion of families devastated by Hurricane Katrina. It will also address the issues of poverty exposed by Hurricane Katrina. The bill has been sitting in the Subcommittee on Health since November 2005. (Click here to read text.)

Tell your Congressperson:

* To cosponsor HR 4197 because it is the right and just thing to do.
* To use his/her influence to move those vacant trailers in Hope, AR, and elsewhere into New Orleans for use by those who have been thrown into the streets.
* That you expect him/her to work to fulfill the promises made by the President, although the President is is reneging.

Please Take Action Now!

Democratic Hawks - Beware

One of the lovely things about living in the Los Angeles area is how solidly blue most of the city is. One of the not-so-lovely things? How several supposedly Democratic representatives are horrifyingly hawkish when it comes to the Iraq War. Including, unfortunately, my own representative to the House, Howard Berman.

Fortunately, Los Angeles area activists have decided not to take such hawkishness lying down and are standing up against three long-term incumbents with unfortunate stances on the war:
Three Congressional Democrats who have been most supportive of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq will have to explain their hawkish stances, now that challengers from their Southern California districts have filed to oppose them in the June 6 primary election.

Hoping to force a referendum on the war and its Democratic co-sponsors in the House of Representatives are educator Marci (sic) Winograd, filing against incumbent Jane Harman in the 36th District, which includes the beach cities from Venice to San Pedro; former union staffer Bob McCloskey, confronting Adam Schiff in the 29th (Pasadena-Glendale-Burbank-Alhambra); and teacher Charles Coleman Jr., opposing Howard Berman in the East San Fernando Valley’s 28th.

In the interests of full diclosure, I am acquainted with both Marcy and Charles and the chances are pretty good I'll be looking to help Marcy with her campaign, as I think, not only is she an amazing person, but she's definitely a viable candidate.

Go get 'em, Marcy, Bob and Charles!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

grin and bear it

There's an long, old, not very funny dirty joke about a hunter and a bear. I won't subject you to the joke's particulars because they're not relevant. What's relevant is the punchline: the bear, leaning against a tree, says to the hunter, "This isn't really about hunting, is it?"

I pose a similar question to the government of South Dakota: this isn't really about saving the lives of the unborn, is it?

Because if it were, you wouldn't have the nation's three worst counties for child poverty all in your state. You would have superior prenatal care on demand for all women, regardless of their socioeconomic status. And you wouldn't have enacted the mind-bogglingly medieval law that forces a child to be born to a woman who doesn't want to bear it.

This is really about controlling women. Women and their mysterious, hidden, complicated, messy sexuality with its hormones and blood and emotions. It's powerful stuff, isn't it? And women's sexuality is inextricably intertwined with their ability to bring forth life. That's a pretty intimidating combo for your garden variety village elder to wrap his head around.

Women's sexuality has always posed a problem for patriarchal cultures, and they've dealt with it in all kinds of creative ways from clitoridectomies to cooking up stories about virgin births. In Chinese philosophy, "yin", or female energy is cold, dark, negative, and passive, while "yang", or male energy, is exactly the opposite.

The historically accepted reason for this and the one most readily offered is that these practices were carried out in order to maintain the patrilineal transfer of property. Fair enough. But I suspect that there's always been something else in play as well. Traditionally, people have believed what their eyes have told them because it was the most easily understandable explanation for the phenomena they saw around them. Thus, the earth was flat, the sun revolved around it, and everything was made from earth, air, fire, and water. Within this belief system, the obvious mechanics of male sexuality are pretty easy to understand, as any 14-year-old boy can attest to.

But because of their anatomy, women's sexuality is more covert. And historically, anything taking place that people couldn't see was fair game for conjecture. And because people then as now were incredibly lacking in imagination, more often than not they labeled phenomena they couldn't see as the work of the devil. Thus, women's sexuality was something to be eradicated at best, but at the very least, controlled.

Flash forward to 2005. Our nation is teetering towards an empire, our leader has launched us on a crusade against an axis of evil, creationism is being taught to our children in school, and once again, women must be castigated for their sexuality.

Let's take another quick look at anatomy (this is the last time, I promise). After conception, a man's involvement with the growing cluster of cells that share his DNA is completely voluntary. Regardless of moral obligation, marriage, love, commitment, or court order, if he doesn't want to be there, he doesn't have to be. For a woman, obviously, it's a different story. But access to abortion places a woman on equal footing to a man, making a woman's involvement in a pregnancy as voluntary as a man's. And for the Christian right, that is an intolerable state of affairs.

Because a woman can be poor, uninsured, unemployed, undereducated, but God forbid she be uppity.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Poem for John McGain



I used to like John McCain
But now he gives me a pain.
He was a Bush critic
But it seems to this cynic
He’s switched his positions for gain.

His opposition to torture
Is open to forfeiture
For embracing Gitmo George.

He’ll reform campaign finance
Unless if by some chance
There’s a banquet at which he can gorge.

And suddenly the religious right
Is dandy in his new light
Of forgetting when they were his scourge.

Nobody should misconstrue
His new affection for W.
John’s running for president,
Meaning values once resident
Have all been flushed down the loo.

--Lee Wochner

Friday, March 10, 2006

Exiled from the Garden

I swear that, here at SoCal Grassroots, sometimes we're positively psychic.

I had recently been reading about the threatened eviction of the farmers of the South Central Community Garden and thought it was something that I should bring to the attention of our readers. Just as I was mulling it over, an e-mail landed in the blog's inbox from a former regional leader of Kerry SoCal (the group from which SoCal Grassroots evolved) which talked about this very issue:
I am writing to notify you of a critical development that is taking place on Monday, March 13th. Hopefully you will be able to pass this on to your membership and regional leaders, so that the Southern Californian progressive movement will stand united for this worthwhile cause.

On Monday the South Central Community Garden will be evicted. An eviction notice was posted on the west gate of the South Central Farm by the LA County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, March 1, 2006. In the wake of the 1992 Rebellion, local families were given permission to create a community garden on the City-owned land. For over 13 years the South Central Farmers have developed the space into a vital 14-acre community resource that feeds impoverished families and teaches horticulture and land preservation to the younger generations. The City sold the land out from under the farmers in 2003 in a back-room deal with Brentwood real estate developer Ralph Horowitz. Now these 350 families are being told to leave so that Horowitz can raze the farm and build a Walmart.

The farm is scheduled for eviction on this Monday and little has been done by the mayor's office, even though Mayor Villaraigosa campaigned at the farm in 2004 and has repeatedly issued statements supporting the development of green spaces and parks. The public needs to be aware of this critical program in a part of our city wounded by poverty and often forgotten by our elected officials. Concerned constituents can email the mayor at
mayor@lacity.org or call (213)978-0600.

More information can be retrieved at:

www.southcentralfarmers.com

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/030306_scf_eviction.shtml

la.indymedia.org

Thank you for your help.

Sam Jammal
J.D. Candidate 2007
The George Washington University Law School
According to the LA Weekly article linked in the second paragraph above, Villaraigosa has been working to get someone to buy the land:
Behind the scenes, the mayor’s administration has been scrambling to negotiate a deal that would allow a third party to buy the property from developer Ralph Horowitz. A likely deal would involve paying Horowitz $50,000 a month for the option to buy his land, while negotiations for a sale continue.

Trust for Public Land area director Larry Kaplan said the nonprofit organization has already come up with $11 million to purchase the garden, and is optimistic that it can gather the remaining $5 million to $7 million — depending on the final purchase price.

According to sources familiar with the talks, the Harbor Commission, which once owned the property and was a defendant in a lawsuit over the land, reviewed the case behind closed doors on February 15, and again on March 1. The commission agreed with the proposal to pay Horowitz over the next few months to make up for his inability to use his property during negotiations. Kaplan confirmed that the Trust for Public Land would put in $20,000 a month, while the Port of Los Angeles would contribute $30,000.
It is still uncertain whether, should the deal with Trust for Public Land and the Harbor Commission go through, the farmers will be able to retain stewardship of the contested land or it'll end up a big soccer field.

I encourage everyone to contact the mayor's office (mayor@lacity.org or call (213) 978-0600) and weigh in on this important issue.

Also check out Los Angeles CityBeat, which has been following the South Central Community Garden story for at least several months.

Own a piece of history


How fortunate we are in Southern California! In case you missed this press release from last week:
Cunningham’s Cache: Federal Government Announces Auction Date for Former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s Antiques and Home Furnishings.

March 2, 2006

Los Angeles, CA
-- The IRS-Criminal Investigation today announces the public auction of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s forfeited antiques and home furnishings. The auction will take place on March 23, 2006, at a Treasury Department seized property auction in Rancho Dominguez, CA.

The auction is free and open to the public. Public previews for the auction will take place Tuesday, March 21 and 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the EG&G Technical Services warehouse, located at 2332 E. Pacifica Place, Rancho Dominguez, CA. More information about Cunningham’s Antiques can be found online at www.treas.gov/auctions/customs/la.html under the “Antiques” section, or by calling the Public Auction Line at 703.273.7373.

The valuable antiques and home furnishings were purchased for Cunningham by defense contractors who took part in a bribery scandal that ultimately lead to Cunningham’s guilty plea on charges of tax evasion and conspiracy to accept $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for coveted Defense dollars. Cunningham ultimately resigned from the House, and forfeited these assets as part of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Cunningham is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, March 3, 2006.

This case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FBI, DCIS, and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. Proceeds from the auction of Cunningham’s assets will be deposited into the Treasury Asset Forfeiture Fund, where they will be split among the investigative agencies to help support continued law enforcement efforts.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What Is This..."Common Sense" of Which You Speak?

In yesterday's The Hill:
Liberals seek $60B in cuts to defense

In its latest move to draw attention to liberal ideas, the Congressional Progressive Caucus will introduce a plan today to divert $60 billion in defense spending to humanitarian assistance, social programs, energy conservation, homeland security and deficit reduction.

Leaders of the caucus argue that the military funding goes to unnecessary Cold War-era programs and could be spent better elsewhere.

"I think it’s time for Congress and the House to talk about the huge amount of tax dollars going for weapons systems designed to fight a Cold War that doesn’t exist," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the 62-member Democratic group. "I don’t think people realize the billions of dollars that are being wasted."

The plan, dubbed the Common Sense Budget Act, would direct savings in military spending toward humanitarian assistance and food aid ($13 billion), modernizing public schools ($10 billion), providing health insurance to uninsured children ($10 billion), energy conservation ($10 billion), training unemployed workers ($5 billion), homeland security ($5 billion), deficit reduction ($5 billion) and medical research ($2 billion).
Worried about Democrats looking soft on defense? Check this out:
Some political observers fear that publicizing a Democratic proposal to cut military spending could open Democrats up to criticism that they are weak on security issues. But Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), the other co-chairwoman of the caucus, argued that the defense spending is not crucial to national defense, noting that a panel of military experts had vetted the Democrats’ plan.

"We’re talking about taking 60 billion away from defense programs we don’t even use."(emphasis mine)
"To me, that looks like Democrats are making sense," she said. "If all you do around here is fear that it’s going to look like something you shouldn’t look like rather than something you should look like, then you’re wasting your time."

"We can invest in our children and invest in the security of our country," she added.
Sounds pretty common sense to me. Which is why it falls under the realm of "crazy talk." But it's so crazy, it just might work...

Come Back to the Five and Dime...

Yesterday's Los Angeles Times Op-Ed:
A break-in to end all break-ins
In 1971, stolen FBI files exposed the government's domestic spying program.

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ago today, a group of anonymous activists broke into the small, two-man office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Media, Pa., and stole more than 1,000 FBI documents that revealed years of systematic wiretapping, infiltration and media manipulation designed to suppress dissent.

The Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, as the group called itself, forced its way in at night with a crowbar while much of the country was watching the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight. When agents arrived for work the next morning, they found the file cabinets virtually emptied.
Amongst the papers stolen, which were released to various news outlets:
The Media documents — along with further revelations about COINTELPRO in the months and years that followed — made it clear that the bureau had gone beyond mere intelligence-gathering to discredit, destabilize and demoralize groups — many of them peaceful, legal civil rights organizations and antiwar groups — that the FBI and Director J. Edgar Hoover found offensive or threatening.

[...]

Under COINTELPRO, the bureau also targeted actress Jean Seberg for having made a donation to the Black Panther Party. The fragile actress ultimately committed suicide after a gossip nugget based on a FBI wiretap was leaked to the L.A. Times and published. The item, suggesting that the father of the baby she was carrying was a Black Panther rather than her French writer-husband, turned out to be wrong.
Sobering stuff, and an important history lesson. Too bad no one seems to have learned from it.

My little tin foil hat is telling me that we just might need The Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI again...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Possible Voter Registration Fraud by GOP? Shocking!

From today's Los Angeles Times, GOP Halts Paid Voter-Drive Program:
The California Republican Party has suspended its fee-based voter registration program while prosecutors in San Bernardino and Orange counties investigate possible registration fraud connected to private firms hired by the party, GOP officials said.

The suspension came after election officials in the two counties discovered thousands of flawed registration forms and received complaints from residents who said they had been improperly registered as Republicans.
Well, if you can't trust private firms who get paid per registration form hired by the oh-so-pure, not-even-close-to-tainted-by-corruption-as-long-as-you-don't-look-at-DeLay/Cunningham/Frist/Ney-and-company Republicans, well, who can you trust?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Do they prey on the weak and vulnerable?

Con artists? Yes.
Bullies? Yes.
Republicans? Every chance they get!

The latest Southern Dem diary entry at Kos will make your blood curdle. Tells of a revolting fundraising tactic endorsed by Elizabeth Dole and the National Repugnicant Senatorial Committee.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Metamorphosizzle


As Gregor W. Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a caring and responsible person, an honest and faithful leader, a trustworthy and beloved president accountable to all Americans and mutually respected throughout the world.

What has happened to me? he thought. It was no dream.

No, wait... yes it was.

Francine Busby Delivers Democratic Radio Address


Francince Busby, running in the special election in California's 50th Congressional District (San Diego County), delivered the Democratic weekly radio address on Saturday. (On the small chance that you missed the news last week, former 50th CD rep Duke Cunningham was sentenced to 8 years 4 months in prison for accepting bribes.)

Let's give Francine all the help we can -- see below -- in claiming this seat for the Democrats. It's a golden opportunity to turn a traditionally Republican area bright Blue.

"My home county of San Diego is both a border city and a port city. We're proud of the jobs our port and border bring but we're also aware of the dangers that come with living and working at the nexus of two security checkpoints of our great country.

I was outraged to learn that the President wanted to outsource operations at some American ports to the United Arab Emirates. And like many of you, though I was outraged, I unfortunately was not surprised.

This secret deal didn't contain many of the provisions commonly found in other port deals.

That may be typical for business-as-usual in Washington, but it is not in the best interest of our national security.

This is of course the same team that brought us an immigration policy that has done little to secure our borders -- why would we imagine that they'd bring us anything more when it comes to the security of our ports?

At our ports, like our borders, Americans expect and deserve a Congress committed to stopping people who are intent on breaking the law.

There's a lot of rhetoric on both sides so it's important that we talk about the facts. Here's the first important fact: the United Arab Emirates was one of only three countries that recognized the terrorist-run Taliban as a legitimate government in Afghanistan.

Another fact: the U.A.E. served as a financial staging ground for the 9/11 attacks on our nation.

Even before this port deal with the U.A.E. was announced, here are the facts about the Republican record on port security: In 2003 and again last year, Republicans in Congress voted against funding for stronger port security. Last year, Republicans in Congress voted against funding for stronger border security. This record and this new deal with the U.A.E. reflect a perilous pre-9/11 world view that we can no longer afford.

We've now learned how they ignored a proven threat with Hurricane Katrina - starting with the White House. On this port deal, they also ignored the concerns of the Coast Guard about the lack of information.

Read the full transcript/listen to the audio....

More on the Busby campaign here.

Saturday, March 18th event: Buses for Busby - Friends from all over Southern California are headed on buses to the 50th district (coastal and northern San Diego County) to walk precincts for Francine Busby for Congress. We will be needing as many local volunteers as possible in order to pair up our visiting volunteers with local walkers. To Volunteer: Adam @ (760)479-0114 or volunteer@busbyforcongress.org

Saturday, March 04, 2006

the socal grassroots oscars

BEST PERFORMANCE AT BEING SOMETHING YOU’RE NOT
-Heath Ledger, for being a straight Australian playing a gay cowboy from Wyoming
-The chick who plays a trannsexual guy in that movie that won’t win anything
-Joe Lieberman for being a Republican playing a Democrat
-Condi Rice, for her convincing portrayal of a white man pretending to be an African- American woman
-Harry Whittington, for his heart-stoppingly accurate portrayal of a crested brown quail

BEST CRAZY-ASS MALE MENOPAUSE NUTJOB
-Cheney
-Powell
-Hussein
-O’Reilly
-Jean Schmidt

MOST DELAYED TESTICULAR DEVELOPMENT
-Harry Reid
-Al Gore
-John Kerry
-Patrick Leahy

BEST “I WISH I KNEW HOW TO QUIT YOU” MOMENT
-Roberts confirmation hearings
-Oil CEOs’ congressional testimony
-Cheney shooting victim press conference
-Gay male escort posing as reporter asking Scott McLellan if he does free weights or Nautilus
-"Out West, where you vacation, the aspens are turning. They turn in clusters, because they are connected at the roots..."

BEST W. MOMENT
-"Heckuva job, Brownie."
-"We don't torture."
-"Port sale to Dubai? What port sale to Dubai?"
-"I'm a uniter, not a divider. Now watch me unite George Bush with Jack Daniels."

Thanks For the Tip, Dick

Found this on the Democracy For America blog:

A message came down from on high yesterday from an American living off the interest from his millions to those of us who turn down the thermostat a few degrees and put on a sweater when heating oil prices creep upwards.

Vice-president Dick Cheney, having run out of friends to shoot, is now taking aim at the portion of the American public who live paycheck to paycheck. At a Washington, DC conference, he "urged Americans... to do a better job of saving."

"The American dream begins with saving money and that should begin on the very first day of work," Cheney told a conference here exploring how to encourage people to boost savings and be better prepared for retirement.

Too often, workers are living paycheck to paycheck and are not saving sufficiently, Cheney said.

Cheney then re-loaded and took a shot at tinkering with Social Security:

"There will always be a wagon load of excuses for ignoring the problem of entitlements," Cheney said. "But Americans have a right to expect more out of the nation's leaders, especially when it comes to Social Security and other defining national promises."

Only a Republican, with their Strict Father model of conservative politics would imagine that the right way to help Americans prepare for the future is scolding us into saving more. How are we to begin when many of us already have what we consider to be "good jobs," but we still anxiously await the first and fifteenth of each month?

A few members of the DFA community replied to the vice-president's exhortation:

Demetrius: "Can... they... *POSSIBLY*... be that out of touch? In other news: Fox Scolds Henhouse For Record Losses To Predators"

Tom Bearse: "The vice president has a point. It’s hard to understand why others don’t simply become Defense Department Secretary, authorize studies for the privatization of military functions like feeding, security, and entertainment, take over as CEO for the corporation that provides these services and see that these contracts are conveniently funneled over to it.

Read the rest....

Friday, March 03, 2006

March 3rd is "Opposable Thumb Day"


Every other day is "Oppose the Lunatic in the White House Day".

Image from Blue Mountain Cards