Monday, June 30, 2008

Changing the Narrative

In honor of the General Election, I am toning down my rhetoric (and, if you believe that, I have a tropical paradise in West Texas to sell you). What used to fall under the somewhat belligerant Vanquishing-The-Beast rubric, now comes under the kinder, gentler "Changing the Narrative." Let's try it on for size, shall we?

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that there has been some excellent discussion about the exasperation that many of us feel following Obama's and Congressional Democrats' cave on FISA, among other things. Here's a snippet:
I wish that he would use some of his rhetorical gifts to challenge conservative assumptions more and I'm hopeful that he will, as president, work to redefine the conventional wisdom. I'm also hopeful that his approach on the big issues will not be reflexively compromising. But as of right now, there remains a strong belief among all the Democratic players that liberals are losers --- and they want to win. I don't think we're going to change that in the next four months.

We chose serious symbolic change that has deep cultural meaning over serious ideological change that has deep political meaning. There's nothing inherently wrong with that --- the effects of such things are far reaching and incredibly important for the advancement of our society. You can't forget that Barack himself was born at a time when Jim Crow was still enshrined in the south. This is huge. But nothing comes free and having a politically moderate president at a time when a more explicit progressivism might have gotten a boost is the price we pay. The Village will only tolerate so much change at one time. If we want real political change, it's time to change the Village.
Meanwhile, Gen. Wesley Clark proceeds to heroically show us all how it's done.

UPDATE: Goddammit!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Haven't done this in awhile. Here's a nice photo montage to a song from what I consider to be one of the best albums ever recorded (ooo, Mike, do I feel a List coming on...?):

I could probably do without the cheesy image of the Virgin Mary at the end, but other than that I liked it. The song, anyway, is one of my favorites and really seems to capture my mood today.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rightie Mentality

This is the level of intellectualism that has prevailed in the administration of George W. Bush:
Mrs Smith Says:

June 25th, 2008 at 1:55 pm
When conservatives disagree with someone, they do “horrible” things like writing Letters to Editors and making fun of them on online message boards. Sometimes they even get upset enough to lobby for new laws, or the repeal of horrible laws.

When liberals disagree with someone, they try to work the entire world into a frenzy over unproven “science,” file lawsuits to get their way (against the will of the majority), and whine endlessly about life being unfair. Liberals are so consumed with the fear of life that they just can’t allow anyone else the liberty to pursue happiness.
I'm not going to link to the site that came from. You don't want to go there, and it doesn't matter. It takes about 2 seconds to find its exact equivalent on any wingnut site on the internet.

Just to reiterate

The George W. Bush administration stacked our government with loons who believe in "eye babies" whose job it was specifically to weed out applicants and employees who, while they might have impeccable credentials otherwise, were deemed to be "too liberal."

Obama's cave on the FISA thing is a disappointment but not a surprise. John Cole puts it well. What Obama's actions tell me is that if he isn't even willing to stand up and fight for the discovery process on warrantless surveillance - which is absolutely all this telecom immunity fight is about - then how likely is it that he will pursue rigorous investigations and accountability for all the other, even more serious, crimes that have been perpetuated by this horrible administration, especially after Bush is out of office and the pressure is on for Closure?


These people are worried about radical Islam, for crying out loud?? They really have no self-awareness at all, do they.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Moving offices today

Hilarity abounds.

Chris Dodd gave a heroic speech yesterday.

And Atrios is a good man. A very good man.

On the other hand, our President is an asshole.

UPDATE: Whew - that was fun. Now I get to unpack boxes and try to find places to put everything. Apparently what I missed was another great speech from Russ Feingold.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Simpleton

Seriously, I can't wait for those "debates". Does John McCain know anything about anything? Then again, I suppose to conservatives it doesn't matter. Long as he says he's going to bomb Iran, that's all that counts. After all, look who they gave us in 2000 and 2004 - Clearly, wingnuts couldn't care less about whether or not the POTUS can think his way out of a paper bag.

I had dinner over the weekend with some good friends and one of them recounted an argument he had gotten into recently with some McCain supporters who claimed they didn't like Obama because he is "too smooth." Beyond that, they couldn't (or wouldn't) elaborate. This morning, I emailed him this link I got from Lawyers, Guns and Money and it contains this little nugget:
Even the briefest of surveys of the supporters gracing McCain's events underscores the kind of red-meat appeal he's making. Immediately after his speech in New Orleans, a pair of sweet-looking old ladies put down their McCain signs long enough to fill me in on why they're here. "I tell you," says one, "if Michelle Obama really doesn't like it here in America, I'd be very pleased to raise the money to send her back to Africa."

The diminutive and smiling old lady's friend leans over. "That's going a little too far, dear."

"Too far?" says the first. "Farrakhan is saying they were brought here against their will, and their bodies are still feeding the sharks at the bottom of the sea! I mean, really!"

"OK, sharks still eating bodies," I say, writing it all down. "Could I have your name, ma'am?"

"Janice Berg," says the first old lady. "And lest you think I'm Jewish, the name comes from Norway. Berg is 'mountain' in Norwegian. I'm part German, part French myself."

A few paces away, I catch up with a man named Ron Saucier and a woman who would only identify herself as Mary. Ron says his problem with Obama is the integrity thing. "He exaggerates too much," Ron says. "He's not honest."

"OK," I say. "What does he exaggerate about?"

"Well, like that time he was saying he had a white mother and a white grandmother," he says.

I ask him how this is an exaggeration.

"Well, he was saying . . ." he begins. "As if that qualifies him to . . ."

Despite my repeated prodding, Ron seems unable or unwilling to say aloud exactly what he means. Finally, his friend Mary, a grave-looking blonde with fierce anger lines around her eyes, jumps in, points a finger and blurts out one of the all-time man-on-the-street quotes.

"Look, you either are or you aren't," she says.

"And he aren't," Ron says, nodding with relief.
We can win this battle, I know we can. For ammunition to use in these encounters with McCain's Neanderthal base, I direct your attention to our gal, Susan at Kiss My Big Blue Butt, who added her own twist to a post she discovered over at Slate.

Give 'em hell, George

I had a hard time choosing which video to post - so, for better or worse, I landed on this one:

Good commentary here and here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Congratulations George Bush and Dick Cheney

Well, it's done. This is the point at which we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again. It is not the time to give up. If the Bush/Cheney cabal doesn't face charges for the warrantless surveillance crimes they have committed, there are plenty of other crimes to choose from, and we need to elect Democrats who will do the job.

GOP, defined

"shameless and pathetic" E.g.:
I can understand, on a certain level, why Obama’s remarks have sparked Republican attacks. After all, when Obama said “we’ve got due process to go through” once we’ve found bin Laden, it was bound to get the right’s attention.

Wait, did I say that was Obama? Actually, it was Fred Thompson who said during his campaign that bin Laden deserves due process. And now, Thompson is a McCain campaign surrogate. Interesting.

Look, I know why McCain and his cohorts are trying to scare people. I realize that they’ve given up on facts and decency, and hope that the same old “soft on terror” smears can overcome a weak campaign, unimpressive candidate, and ridiculous policy agenda.

But these tactics are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Would Obama extend habeas to terrorist suspects in U.S. custody? Of course; that’s the law. Would Obama apply the death penalty to bin Laden? Absolutely; he’s already said so. Does Obama’s counter-terrorism policy rely exclusively on “law enforcement”? Of course not; he’s already laid out a comprehensive strategy based on intelligence gathering, military strength, law enforcement, and international cooperation.

Put simply, the only way McCain’s arguments work is if one gives up on reality altogether.

And not just that

They're calling him a flip-flopper!

That's right. Obama's a flip-flopper. Unlike Mr. McBreak-A-Hip.

Then again, these are the same guys who Swiftboated John Kerry and Max Cleland while touting their combat-dodging AWOL guy as an all-American hero.

UPDATE: What Maha said.

Why FISA was enacted in the first place

For anyone who may have forgotten, it was because of the abuse of Presidential power by this man.

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, among others in the current administration, worked in the Nixon administration and Cheney, in particular and by all accounts, deeply resented Nixon's fall from grace and subsequent checks on Presidential power. Our country is living with the results of his tireless efforts to remove those constraints and a return to Nixon-era policies and attitudes, perfectly exemplified by Nixon's famous quote: "Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal." If the current FISA legislation that was developed in secret by Steny Hoyer is passed today by the Democratically controlled Congress, as it is expected to do, Dick Cheney should probably rummage around in the White House basement for that "Mission Accomplished" banner, unfurl it on the lawn, and do a little tap dance for reporters.

What Digby Said

That woman sure has a knack for hitting the nail right squarely on the head.

UPDATE: There's some excellent writing on this subject from all the usual suspects. To wit:
Our system of government is built on the separation of powers: Congress passes laws, the Executive implements those laws, the Courts interpret them, and all of us, including the President, obey them. This system is currently under threat. Our President and his advisors believe three things which are wrong individually, but disastrous when combined. These are:

(1) The President can do whatever he wants during wartime, whether or not it violates the laws.

(2) It is always wartime, and the battlefield is everywhere, both at home and abroad.

(3) The President has the right to keep what he is doing completely secret. No one -- not citizens, not Congress, not anyone -- has the right to force him to reveal what he and others in the Executive are doing.

As I said, each of these is wrong individually, but the combination of all three is absolutely toxic. And the secrecy is crucial: if no one knows what the Executive is doing, no one can challenge it.

The FISA controversy puts all three principles together. The President claims that the War Powers he discerns somewhere in Article II of the Constitution give him the right to violate the FISA law, and to enlist the help of the telecoms. The Democrats offered a long time ago both to grant the basic fixes in the FISA law that the President wants, and also to allow the government to substitute for the telecoms in the various lawsuits against them. The latter amendment would have allowed the lawsuits to proceed without the telecoms being in jeopardy. It failed, with only one Republican voting in favor.

If the FISA "compromise" passes, it will mean that a President just needs to authorize some program, and say that he thinks it is legal, and telecoms cannot be sued for going along with it, even if it violates the law. Given a President who claims to believe, as Bush does, that whatever he wants to do is legal so long as it is an exercise of his War Powers, this is a recipe for disaster. Moreover, these lawsuits are the only way in which anyone can get redress, since the courts have ruled (pdf) that no one has standing to sue the government unless she can show that her communications have been intercepted. It's also the only way in which citizens can discover what this program involves, so long as Congress refuses to do its job -- not that Congressional investigations would necessarily have helped, since the administration has shown very little willingness to share information about this program with Congress.


George W. Bush and his administration have done everything they can to undermine the separation of powers. This bill would retroactively say that that's OK, and would in addition prevent us from suing corporations that went along with the President's request to break the law. That is a request he has no right to make, and legal liability is the best way of ensuring that he does cannot do in practice what our Constitution forbids him.

It's our Constitution. It's up to us to defend it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rose-colored glasses, removed

In any rightwing venue these days one will probably find the mildly annoying attempt to slur Obama and his supporters by referring to him as "St. Obama" or "Obamamessiah" inferring, of course, that his supporters are all mindless cultists who have fallen for an empty suit. This is not a new line of attack - they used it on Al Gore, too - and I guess it's a notch better than the racist bull, but it does carry a few extra pounds of irony coming as it does from the political faction that gives cover to the religious right, one of the most noxious and destructive (not to mention being the antithesis of actual spirituality) cultural elements in our society today. Whatever. As someone who is older than dirt and who has been following politics since the days of JFK and whose dreamy-eyed idealism is but a dim memory, I find the epithet as ill-fitting as my high school uniform. On the other hand, how sweet is it to see the wingnuts squirm so ungraciously in response to the massive popularity of Obama and Gore, in stark contrast to the flaming disaster of today's Republican Party? Heh, indeed.

But we older-than-dirt coots have ridden this pendulum back and forth many times and as pleasant as it is to be backing a winner this time, it's not in the least bit shocking to discover that our guy doesn't always fit the template as we might like him to. Atrios puts it well too. Anyway, I think the telecom amnesty issue is important and if you agree, now is the time to let the Obama campaign hear from you about it. See the contact information provided in the Greenwald link.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No doubt whatsoever

War crimes.

Convict them now.

All Your Internet Traditions

I got 'em. Oh, baby. Oh, baby.


Phil Graham on the economy and now this? Who's advising him on his energy policy, Dick Cheney? No snark, he probably is. Damn, this is getting embarrassing.

Congratulations to the Celtics

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Action Alert

It's not enough to just support Barack Obama for POTUS. We must also target those Democrats in Congress who are or have been complicit in enabling the worst excesses of the Bush administration if we are to really change the culture of corruption that has come to characterize DC politics. Glenn Greenwald discusses an important campaign and provides a way to contribute in this post. I know that in this election year we are all stretched and giving all we can, but I urge you to consider giving whatever you can to this cause.

A truly inspiring speech - Well done, Al Gore!

Actually, let's not

I'm for not leaving this aside (emphasis mine and H/T Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report):
"There are areas off our coasts that should be open to exploration and exploitation, and I hope we can take the first step by lifting the moratoria," he announced at a news conference at McCain headquarters in Crystal City.

Let's leave aside whether it's a good idea for the Republican presidential candidate to advocate the "exploitation" of the nation's coastlines. McCain said such drilling "would be very helpful in the short term in resolving our energy crisis" -- even though it takes years to get from oil exploration to production.
What a bozo.

Dick Cheney needs to be in jail

If this isn't the textbook example of war profiteering, I don't know what is. Please. What is wrong with us that we have allowed this crap to go on for so long?

McCain Family Recipes

Hold on to your coffee!

Seriously, you have to wonder (at least, I'm beginning to): Why bother? Whose idea was it to have Cindy McCain share "recipes" and WHY?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

To all you Dads out there. Here is a charming photo of me and my Pop, taken God-knows-where at some point in the early days of our journey together. He was not an exemplary father and ours was a conflicted relationship, but time and experience softened my judgement of him considerably and I'm glad to say that we were able to make peace with one another before he died several years ago. I often wonder if I'm not much more like him than I would like to be.

And let's keep in our hearts and minds these days another dad and one of our very good friends, heydave, whose homeland is going through hard times:

Heydave tells me that his immediate area is not in danger, but we all know that this kind of devastation will affect everyone. You can donate to the Red Cross here.

And I mustn't let the day go by without saying thanks to capconundrum who sent me this:

Thanks Cap!

And Hilzoy points us to yet another arrogant and inane comment from our POTUS. Way to honor your dad, asshole. I never cared for Bush Sr. much but he out-classes his pig of a son by miles and miles.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Heartfelt condolences to Tim Russert's family.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Making Hay

John Cole is funny.

I liked this part:
Quick: Who vetted John Edwards? Al Gore? No fair using google. The only reason some people remember who vetted Dick Cheney is because it was… Dick Cheney. How is that working out for the country?
But this cracked me up:
The cable news channels might talk about it for a minute or two, and I am sure someone in the GOP will gloat over this before strapping on a wetsuit tonight, but...
Heh. Wolcott too. "Ruminative Furball" - heh!

And, of course, Stupidity's first cousin is...

...Racism. Seriously, if Don Imus could get shut down, and rightfully so, for slinging about the term "nappy-headed ho's" don't we have a right to expect Fox to experience some kind of consequence for crap like this? And, speaking of paranoid racist assholery, check out the commenters that showed up to spread their fetid slime all over this post of Mike's.

UPDATE: Um, Yes, it does. Dear God, there are 4 more months to go until the election. Do you find yourself wondering how low they will go?

A Follow-Up

To yesterday's post: Remember that it's not enough for wingnuts to actively strive to be stupid. They want the rest of us to be just as stupid as they are. The dumbing down of America is their goal. And it's working:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not, I repeat, not a parody

I swear.

Sometimes these guys just make it way too easy.

UPDATE: Holy Frijoles! My favorite, bar none: "When are you going to offer a Joe Lieberman Certified Ballwasher?"

UPDATE AGAIN: Okay, look. I know that it's feeding into stereotypes calling right wingers stupid, and to make fun of them is useemingly personal and, well, elitist. But wait a minute. It's worth remembering that these guys are not only proud of their stupidity (remember their standard-bearer for the last eight years, the guy who brags about being able to pay others to do his reading for him) they are actively engaged in an organized and well-funded campaign to make the rest of us just as stupid as they are - the systematic and never-ending attack on public education is but one branch of that campaign. These guys are to scholarship what the KKK was to civil rights. Added: Or what Ken Starr is to privacy.

AND ANOTHER THING: Speaking of higher (?) education from the geniuses who know all about how to carry out a plan, there's this. Man oh man, talk about winning hearts and minds.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wanking 101

I just want to say that the only thing dumber than writing an article like this would be reading it and somehow finding it credible (see comments).

The choice, she's a-clear

If John McCranky's family values aren't enough to horrify you, perhaps you should take a look at his, ahem, "energy policy."

On the other hand, our side has this guy.

I feel pretty good, in a schadenfreudistic kind of way, and I hope that some of these garment-renderers will consider the Sarandon Solution.

"We are being asked to sign for our own occupation"

H/T Atrios

I'm sure it must be so gratifying for Monkey Boy that the Iraqi people are so appreciative of his most excellent freedom-spreading adventure.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sandy's New Puppy - Meet Maya

I had to post SOMETHING to counterbalance the topic of dysentery, worms and John McCain that the previous thread had devolved into!

Oh Brother

From publius:
Cranky John McCain

Jonathan Martin’s Politico piece (like other recent articles) states that McCain and his team have a deep personal contempt for Obama. They think he’s undeserving. If that’s true, then Cranky needs to get over that pretty quickly.

One of the most serious errors a political candidate can make is to underestimate her opponent (Reagan anyone?). Obama didn’t win the Democratic nomination through blind luck. His campaign was impressive at all levels — much more so than McCain’s ragtag operation featuring Excitable Mark Salter.

As Martin correctly notes, disrespecting Obama could easily backfire on McCain. For one, it’s going to lead to the sort of raving, angry personal attacks that we saw during the Webb bill debate. That's probably what led him to deny Obama his day in the sun, opting instead for the Green Speech (sort of like the White Album, only crankier and, well, greener). Second, it’s going to reinforce an image of him as the Cranky Old Man screaming “get off my grass” (phrase borrowed from John Cole).

Here’s some friendly advice for Candidate Cranky — you can start holding candidates in contempt when they stop being 8 points ahead of you in the polls. Otherwise, respect is the wiser course.
Really. And I would just like to add that I think John McCain is about as sexy as a case of Montezuma's Revenge.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Just sayin'

Hi Mike! Maybe someday I'll be able to say it as good as Digby does, but don't hold your breath! God bless her.

Forty Years Ago

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"He knows where he's going."

"d" at LG&M imagines.

Digby on coming together.

C&L gives us this sweet catch.

UPDATE: War Crimes. Bush and Cheney must be held accountable for this and there is simply no other acceptable way to do that than to try them for war crimes. Period.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Great picture

H/T John Cole

It's a start

America owes the world an apology for 8 years of George W. Bush. Electing Barack Obama would be a good start. However, whether realistic or not, I firmly believe that we cannot truly make amends to the world for the last 8 years unless we ourselves turn GWB and Dick Cheney over to the international court to be tried for war crimes. It is what we should do.

And FURTHERMORE this performance last night should convince any doubters that the election in November is going to be a blow-out for Democrats. Republicans are fixing to get a long overdue trouncing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


In a sane world, wouldn't you think that any Republican from Texas would be, like, radioactive to someone who was serious about running for office? Well, the doddering old fool did tell us that he doesn't know much about economics, but you would think that he might put just a little bit of effort into seeking out someone, er, oh never mind. What's next - will he be hiring Tom Delay to advise him on ethics?


On to the next phase. Dday over at Hullabaloo and Jesse Taylor from Pandagon remind us what we have to look forward to. Lucky us.

Inspired by Bo

According to a BBC report I heard this morning:

And then there's this (H/T to Donna and Mike!):

And what about this:

Any other suggestions?

Monday, June 2, 2008


Maja has apparently just discovered that FAFBLOG IS BACK! Where has she been?

In other news, we now know where Donna has been and we're very glad that SHE is back!


Also, BlondeSense has a nice tribute to one that I missed.

Mad As Hell

Thanks for asking.

Or, to put it another way, like someone handed the keys to my brand spanking new Ferrari over to a drunken Eddie Haskell, minus the intelligence and the charm. UPDATE: War crimes. Investigations? Now, please!

Time to break out the F-word.

This seems, somehow, related - but maybe not.