Friday, August 31, 2007

Stop Stop-Loss - Our Man on the Mall

From Bellingham, Washington to Washington D.C., Evan Knappenberger has carried his message a lone way.

Evan Knappenberger with Adam Kokesh on Day Three of Tower Guard Vigil in D.C.
Evan Knappenberger, left, with Adam Kokesh
(Photo Credit: By Haraz N. Ghanbari — Associated Press Photo)

Veteran Questions Ethics of War Policies

By Sylvia Moreno
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 29, 2007; Page B06

Evan Knappenberger is like many young post-Sept. 11 Army enlistees who went from high school into the military for patriotic reasons. He wanted to spread democracy, to topple Saddam Hussein, "to do something to affect the world in a good way," the freckled 22-year-old says.

Today, Knappenberger is a disillusioned Iraq War veteran, four months out of the military and on a one-man mission as a peace activist campaigning against Defense Department policies that he believes unethically support the continuation of the war.

He is not so much protesting as standing guard against the Pentagon's so-called "stop-loss" and "inactive reserve" policies, both designed to maintain troop strength in light of failed recruitment goals. His platform is a makeshift six-foot-tall guard tower that he erected Sunday next to the Washington Monument. There, outfitted in his battle dress uniform, Knappenberger is holding a vigil for seven nights and eight days. ...(more)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

WA-03 Unhappy With Baird

He's not my Congressman but Baird is a Congressman from Washington State, so I guess his change of course on Iraq is fair game for comment.

This MoveOn ad has an accurate message about Iraq, it doesn't matter who it's addressed to.

Here's what one of Baird's constituents has to say:

Met with Baird and it was off-the-record

I just got out of a meeting with Rep. Brian Baird and some local Democratic officials that, as you can imagine, focussed almost totally on Iraq. Since it was off the record, I can't tell you anything he said, but I feel comfortable giving you my new impression of this entire episode.

My biggest impression is that he seems totally willing to lose the next election on this issue, which was contrary to what I went into the meeting thinking. I went in assuming he was taking as some level a political position, trying to find a rhetorical middle ground.

My only wish now is that the meeting was on the record.

Update [2007-8-30 18:59:40 by emmettoconnell]: Baird did go on the record with Slog.
After reading what Baird has to say, my only comment is: what the heck is wrong with the man, has he lost his mind?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two years after Katrina and thousands are still w/o homes

It's been two years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, and still there are tens of thousands of families without homes. 30,000 families are scattered across the country in FEMA apartments, 13,000 are in trailers, and hardly any of the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt. Support
the Gulf Coast Recovery Bill of 2007 by signing the petition at

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ferndale Street Festival

How many towns shut down main street for an all day street festival? Ferndale still does!
We had a double democratic presence this year.....a booth by the 42nd Legislative District and Bellingham Democracy for America.....

add Jim, the button man, and we had some fun!!!
We had a great turnout of volunteers to man the booths and we talked politics to lots of friendly folks...
the street festival is about community and food and music ...and food

And as community members and Democrats, we had a great time being a part of the festival.
see more photos here.........

STOP-LOSS Vigil Begins in DC

August 26, 2007


Marie Marchand, Executive Director
Whatcom Peace & Justice Center
(360) 734-0217 (office); (360) 920-4817 (cell)


Iraq War Veteran Evan Knappenberger, 1st BDE, 4th Infantry Division, erected his 6 ft. scaffold on the Mall in Washington, DC this morning as part of a weeklong 24hr/day Tower Guard vigil. Knappenberger is drawing attention to the US military’s STOP-LOSS and INACTIVE RESERVE policies, which he submits are being used as a substitute for conscription in a political war. The vigil will run through Saturday, September 1st.

Knappenberger’s tower is located adjacent to the Washington Monument on the National Mall between Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive and 14th and 15th Streets, NW. This action, supported by various organizations including the Washington Peace Center, Iraq Veterans Against the War, CodePink, and DC Veterans for Peace, follows a successful 8-day/7-night Tower Guard in Bellingham, WA that garnered extensive media coverage from the AP; all major Seattle TV news networks; Democracy Now! and Air America.
”I spent a year in Iraq. I pulled 97 nights on tower guard,” explained Knappenberger. “Many of the friends I served with have completed their Active Duty contracts. Now, they’re being sent back to Iraq for their third or fourth tours. Tours have been extended from 12 months to up to 18 months. Some soldiers are getting called up after living years of civilian life. Stop-loss is an unethical policy.”

While fulfilling his duties, Knappenberger witnessed the full effect of the administration’s policies on military personnel and the Iraqi people, and began to question those policies. He was given a General Discharge under honorable circumstances in April 2007. Now that he is home, he is committed to doing everything he can to represent his fellow soldiers and address the wrongs being done to them and their families.

“Evan’s protest is a powerful, highly-visible action,” said Marie Marchand, executive director of Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, the non-profit organization that sponsored the Bellingham Tower Guard. “It is a creative way of educating the public about this widespread exploitation and abuse of our soldiers. Evan has seen this injustice perpetrated against his friends and comrades. The peace movement is invigorated by his leadership.”

During Tower Guard in Bellingham, WA, the community rallied around the 22 year-old veteran with an outpouring of support including help with night security, media outreach, meals, and solidarity. Organizational endorsements included Veterans Against Torture and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) whose members drove hundreds of miles to stand with Knappenberger.

IVAW Chairman Garett Reppenhagen made this statement: “Iraq Veterans Against the War are encouraged by Evan Knappenberger’s courage to express his concerns regarding the current Stop-Loss and Individual Ready Reserve. This abuse of the men and women in the Armed Services should not be tolerated by our nation. Thank you, Evan, for finding a bold expression to wake-up America about our responsibility to use our military members honestly and fairly.”

Knappenberger invites the public to talk with him while he is on Tower Guard to learn more about the unethical Stop-loss policy. His action is a part of a month-long campaign of anti-war, pro-veteran protests taking place in Washington, DC and around the US.


Darcy Burner Townhall Meeting

General Eaton speaks out against the Iraq war and invites you to participate in the Darcy Burner Virtual Town Hall.

Join Darcy's Virtual Town Hall to Send a Message to Bush and our Go-Along Congress!

The self-proclaimed Unitary Executive is coming to Washington State on Monday. If you want to see (that's see, not speak to) Bush, it'll cost you a minimum of $1000 and that's only if you pass the mandatory loyalty test.
Local News: Sunday, August 26, 2007

Backups, protests expected for Bush's visit to Bellevue

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

For the fourth time in four years, President Bush will swoop into the well-heeled Eastside to raise money. Monday's appearance in downtown Bellevue will include several street and freeway closures, colorful protests and at least $250,000 raised for Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and the state Republican Party. ...

... At the hotel, Bush will pose for photos with a group of supporters who have paid $10,000 for the privilege, and then he will speak to a much-larger crowd, most of whom will have paid $1,000 to get in.

It's unclear what the president will talk about, but at last year's Reichert fundraiser in Medina, he gave a 45-minute speech that touched on Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and the Iraq war. ...(full article)
Bush's approval rating in the latest Gallop poll is at 32%. So for Republican Congresscritter Reichert, it's all about the money. He's been a loyal Bushie all along and now he's getting another pay-day. The visit won't get him any new support, it's just going to buy him more air time to try to change the subject. "Sheriff" Dave will undoubtedly be running TV ads portraying himself as a moderate kinda guy, but that's not what he tells his base; for them (as Natasha at Pacific Views points out) he's got a different message. He compares Democrats to serial killers:

Not a very moderate attitude, is it? Reichert has campaigned as a moderate but voted the Republican party line even on the most extreme and destructive policies. I think "Sheriff" Dave needs a new nickname; how 'bout "DeadEnder Dave"?

Friday, August 24, 2007

WA-08 * Bloggers Say Yes To Burner, No To Bush/Reichert

Bush shouldn't have scheduled a trip to Washington State to raise funds for Republican Congresscritter Dave Reichert; he's sending Reichert down to certain defeat... Not that Reichert had much of a chance anyway.

Daily Kos has the story with video... and you don't need a secret decoder ring to read it.
WA-08: Bloggers Burn Bush for Burner
by kos

Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 12:48:19 PM PDT

Bush will be raising money for Dave Reichert in Washington on Monday. Darcy Burner will be hosting an online Town Hall meeting on Iraq with Joe Wilson. And in the meantime, we can make it as painful as possible for Republicans to host Mr. 25%.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

An Answer to Bush's Visit to WA State

Darcy Burners campaign will be holding a Virtual Town Hall forum on Iraq.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Vote Today

It's Primary election day in Washington State. If you haven't already mailed in your ballot, you better make a special trip to drop it off.
Drop sites open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
  • Box in front of Whatcom County Courthouse, 311 Grand Ave., in Bellingham.
  • Blaine City Hall, 344 H St.,Blaine.
  • Ferndale City Library, 2222 Main St., Ferndale.
  • Lynden Public Library, 216 Fourth St., in Lynden.
In case your not sure who's who on the primary ballot, here's the list of candidates endorsed by the Whatcom Democrats.


June 19, 2007

The membership of the Whatcom Democrats met with candidates seeking the endorsement of the party at our regular monthly membership meeting, Wednesday, June 13th, 2007. Candidates were considered individually, rather than against any opponents they may have, which resulted in more than one candidate endorsed in some races. A majority of the members present and voting deemed the candidates listed below to support Democratic principles, ideals, and the platform, and received our party's endorsement.

All positions up for election in 2007 are local and non-partisan. Other candidates may be in the race. For a full list of candidates running for office in Whatcom County in 2007, see the Whatcom County Auditor

County Executive: Pete Kremen
County Treasurer: Steve Oliver
County Council Dist 1 Pos B: Bob Kelly
County Council Dist 2 Pos B: Ken Mann
County Auditor: Shirley Forslof
County Sheriff: Bill Elfo
Bellingham Mayor:
Dan Pike
Don Keenan
Seth Fleetwood
Dan McShane
Bellingham City Council Ward 1: Jack Weiss
Bellingham City Council Ward 3: Barry Buchanan
Bellingham City Council Ward 4:
Don Gischer
Stan Snapp
Bellingham City Council Ward 5: Terry Bornemann
Bellingham City Council At Large: Louise Bjornson

Links to candidates' webpages

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How's Your Health Care?

Questions for Senator Clinton on health care.

The ad is sponsored by the California Nurses Association, the National Nurses Organizing Committee and Physicians for a National Health Program and is being run in Iowa. It's nice to see that the Democratic Presidential candidates are being challenged on the subject of real health care reform

There are also Obama and Edwards version of the commercial:
Obama- Speechless Internet Version
Speechless- Edwards Internet Version

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Arctic Sea Ice at Record Low

Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Record Low
Scientists Say Arctic Sea Ice Levels Are at a Record Low and Still Dropping

WASHINGTON Aug 17, 2007 (AP)

There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported.

"Today is a historic day," said Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist at the center. "This is the least sea ice we've ever seen in the satellite record and we have another month left to go in the melt season this year." ...(more)

There's more information about Global Warming and Arctic Sea Ice Minimums at Polar Research Group and RealClimate

And, NO the sun isn't getting hotter. Solar output isn't increasing.

If you hear odd sounding stories saying climate change isn't real, has a new Wiki site that tracks and debunks the nonsense.
RC Wiki

This site is a supplement to the

It is primarily an index for debunking of various popular media occurrences of climate-related nonsense.

Friday, August 17, 2007

“Perfect Presidents or Perfect Politicians?” forum

You can watch video of the AM 1090 Town Hall Forum featuring Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Mike Malloy and The Young Turks.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

GOProgrom - Newt Declares War on Brown People

Newt Gingrich (disgraced former Congressman and serial philanderer) decided to create his own Willie Horton moment when he stepped into the Slime light as headliner at the Iowa Republican straw poll. Taking up the hysterical ravings of the nativist border vigilantes, Newt declared:
"There is a war here at home, and it is even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Far more Americans are being killed by violent, evil people here in America than in our official military "combat zones" overseas."
Of course his statement was inflammatory bullshit drawn straight from propaganda spread by openly racist organizations.

Over at Huffington Post, Pachacutec has done a good job of documenting Gingrich's call to racist vigilantism.

Locally we've got our own nativist border vigilantes. Last month they held a 'conference' in Everett. When the executive director of the Washington State Human Rights Commission, Marc Brenman wrote an opinion piece published in the Everett Herald the border vigilantes complained that it was unfair of him to say:
Unfortunately, it seems like the Minutemen have made progress in some of our communities, including in Everett. The Minutemen rely on the use of hateful speech, the Big Lie, and fear of people who are different to corrupt and coarsen political dialogue, just as their Nazi forebears did. The so-called Minutemen, like their former fellow traveler Tim McVey, are precursors to domestic terrorism and vigilantism. The federal government is charged with enforcing the immigration laws of the United States. Let the federal government do its job, without "assistance" from gun-toting, self-appointed know-nothings.
Their main rebuttal to the statement was; Nazi stands for National Socialist German Workers' Party and "Minutemen are not socialists!" Of course their argument holds no more water than if someone were to say that North Korea must be a lovely free country because its official name is 'the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea'.

And the results of our local border vigilantes paranoia-fest and Gingrich's racist demagoguery have already appeared in the form of border vigilante video depicting cold blooded Murder. Mr. Brenman is absolutely right: "The so-called Minutemen, like their former fellow traveler Tim McVey, are precursors to domestic terrorism and vigilantism."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Industrial Authoritarians

A little light reading for the progressively minded.

Obstruction from the New Democrats (adherents to the DLC philosophy) are a big part of why the newly elected Democratic majority in Congress seems to be having so much trouble keeping their policy promises. Glenn W. Smith eloquently identifies the DLC not as centrists, but as industrial authoritarians.
Glenn W. Smith: The Trouble with the DLC

by Glenn W. Smith

Why are Harold Ford and others from the more paternalistic and condescending quarters of the Democratic Party so keen on discrediting the rising progressive movement? What have been the consequences of their obsession with "the middle"? Most importantly, how have the Tory Democrats managed to bury the expression of deep progressive values, and what should the progressive movement do about it?

For three decades, advocates of "centrism" have used their money to monopolize the Democratic message and leave the progressive base out in the cold, not spoken to. Since its founding in 1985, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) has been leading this effort. How did they pull this off? Before we get into that, let's call them what they are. "Centrist" implies conciliation, moderation, compromise. It reinforces the mistaken idea that our political life falls along a neat, linear scale from left to right. That metaphor makes the center a pretty good and safe place to be. And it certainly is not.

The plutocratic Democrats should be referred to not as centrists, but as industrial authoritarians. Their movement was born after the Nixon re-election in 1972. They blamed that landslide on Democratic Party rules changes that audaciously sought to include Americans formerly excluded from the backrooms of power. They fronted for older corporate interests -- oil and gas, finance, insurance. They are really 19th-Century paternalists who would save us from ourselves by keeping us far from the plantation's Big House. ...(read the full article)
Once you've read all of Glenn Smith's article, have a look at what George Lakoff has to say about Centrism and being progressive.

"Centrism" is the creation of an inaccurate self-serving metaphor, and it is time to bury it.

... The progressive view of government is simple. Progressive government has two aspects: protection and empowerment. Protection is far more than the military, police, and fire departments. It includes consumer protection, worker protection, environmental protection, public health, food and drug safety; social security, and other safety nets. It also includes protection from the government itself, and hence a balance of powers, openness, fundamental rights, and so on.

Empowerment include roads and bridges; public education; government-developed communications like the internet and satellite communications systems; the banking system; the SEC and institutions that make a stock market possible, and the court system, mostly about contracts and corporate law. Progressive government makes business possible. No one makes any money in this country without the progressive empowerment by government. A progressive foreign policy is not based solely, or even mainly, on the state -- about the "national interest" defined as our military strength and GDP. Progressive foreign policy focuses on individual people's interests as well as national interests: on poverty, disease, refugees, education, women's and children's issues, public health, and so on.

These are simply American values. The progressive movement is a patriotic American movement. ... (read the full article)
Lakoff is right on the money with his conclusion; "It is important to stand up to the DLC, and to the idea that there is a unitary mainstream center, that they are it, and that progressives are extremists and deserve to be marginalized."

So now that you know there isn't a "unitary mainstream center" let me point out that anything you hear about Americans being fundamentally conservative is a MYTH. The average American holds solidly progressive views, even if they don't call themselves Progressives.

The Progressive Majority:
Why a Conservative America Is a Myth

Conventional wisdom says that the American public is fundamentally conservative - hostile to government, in favor of unregulated markets, at peace with inequality, wanting a foreign policy based on the projection of military power, and traditional in its social values.

But as this report demonstrates, that picture is fundamentally false. Media perceptions and past Republican electoral successes notwithstanding, Americans are progressive across a wide range of controversial issues, and they're growing more progressive all the time.

This report gathers together years of public opinion data from unimpeachably nonpartisan sources to show that on issue after issue, the majority of Americans hold progressive positions. And this is true not only of specific policy proposals, but of the fundamental perspectives and approaches that Americans bring to bear on issues. ...(read more)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Conservatism Kills - #81407

Yes, Reagan's dream of deregulation has come true and if it doesn't kill you, it may kill your children.

Mattel Recalling More Chinese-Made Toys

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Toy-making giant Mattel Inc. issued recalls Tuesday for about 9 million Chinese-made toys that contain magnets that can be swallowed by children or could have lead paint. ...

... It was the latest blow to the toy industry, which has had a string of recalled products from China, ranging from faulty tires to tainted toothpaste. With more than 80 percent of toys sold worldwide made in China, toy sellers are nervous that shoppers will shy away from their products.

The recall involving lead paint was Mattel's second in two weeks. Earlier this month, consumers were warned about 1.5 million Chinese-made toys that contain lead paint. ...

Public safety is a basic job of government, but conservatives don't think so. They slavishly believe "the market should decide" no matter how many people will be needlessly injured or killed. When conservatives "shrink government" it gives cover to unscrupulous business people who knowing produce defective good and in the long run that destroys consumer confidence and hurts 'the market'.

De-regulation is just a euphemism for stacking the deck in favor of conservative politicians buddies. Somehow conservatives are unable (or unwilling) to understand that 'the market' always has rules, whether it's intellectual property laws or health & safety regulations - and if everybody really had to play by the same rules, 'the market' would work just fine.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Conservatism Kills - #42... down from 11

The Conservative model of unregulated private for profit health care has dominated in the U.S. since the days of Reagan... and here's the result:
US tumbles down the world ratings list for life expectancy

Ewen MacAskill in Washington and agencies
Monday August 13, 2007
The Guardian

A combination of expensive health insurance and an ever-increasing rate of obesity appear to be behind a startling fall by the US in the world rankings of life expectancy.

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, America has dropped from 11th to 42nd place in 20 years, according to official US figures.

Dr Christopher Murray, head of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said: "Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries." ...(more)

WE are 42nd out of 191 countries. The People of Jordan and the Cayman Islands can expect to live longer than we do. All of those health care decisions that Harry and Louise didn't want the government making have been made by the private insurance industry and guess what; it's killing you!

The Con in Conservative - # 81307

Katrina aid goes toward luxury condos

By Jay Reeves, Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With large swaths of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama's football stadium.

About 10 condominium projects are going up in and around Tuscaloosa, and builders are asking up to $1 million for units with granite countertops, king-size bathtubs and 'Bama decor, including crimson couches and Bear Bryant wall art.

While many of the buyers are Crimson Tide alumni or ardent football fans not entitled to any special Katrina-related tax breaks, many others are real estate investors who are purchasing the condos with plans to rent them out. ...

Isn't it lovely... In New Orleans rebuilding moves at a snails pace while disaster aid becomes a slush fund for Republican politicians... tax breaks to real estate developers now in exchange for???

... But the tax breaks are galling to some community leaders, especially when red tape and disorganization have stymied the rebuilding in some of the devastated coastal areas.

"The GO Zone extends so damn far, but the people who need it the most can't take advantage of it," said John Harral, a lawyer in hard-hit Gulfport, Miss.

"It is a joke," said Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate, who has nevertheless used GO Zone tax breaks on projects that include a new hotel and a restaurant. "It was supposed to be about getting people ... to put housing in New Orleans, Louisiana, or Biloxi, Mississippi. It was not about condos in Tuscaloosa."

Locals say Tuscaloosa was included in the GO Zone through the efforts of Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who is from Tuscaloosa, graduated from Alabama and sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee. ...(full article)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cheney: against it before he was for it

Today in the Washington Post:
5 U.S. Soldiers Killed South of Baghdad

The Associated Press
Sunday, August 12, 2007; 11:18 AM

BAGHDAD -- Five American soldiers were killed south of Baghdad, including four in a single bombing, the military said Sunday.

The leader of the largest Sunni bloc in parliament, meanwhile, issued an impassioned appeal for help from Arab countries against what he called Iranian-supported death squads and militias in the latest blow to the U.S.-backed Iraqi government's reconciliation efforts. ...(more)

Way back in 1994 Dick Cheney looked into the camera and explained why invading Iraq was a very bad idea. As a matter of fact he even used the Q word... Quagmire!

(H/T to Rick Perlstein for pointing the way to this YouTube treasure)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Draft?

As Bush prepares to set the presidential vacation-time record, his "war czar" General Loot Lute says a return to a draft should be part of the discussion.

Americans Against Escalation in Iraq has produced a video response:


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Copping Out On The Constitution

Darcy Burner criticizes members of both parties who voted for new FISA bill.



It's good to see that none of our Washington State Democrats voted for this unconstitutional change to the FISA law and it's no surprise that all three of Washington's Republicans obediently voted with their party to take another step toward an authoritarian police state.

There are a whole lot of people all across America who aren't ready to knuckle under and surrender their inalienable Rights.
NYT - Congressional Memo
The Blogs Are Alive With the Sound of Angry Democrats
Published: August 9, 2007

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 — Progressive and liberal groups and left-leaning blogs are furious, tossing around fighting words like “spineless,” “craven” and “weak.”

So much for the hopes of Democratic leaders that they could avoid a withering political attack by clearing the way for Congress to approve an expansion of the Bush administration’s terrorist surveillance program before the August recess.

“Democratic leaders in Congress didn’t put up much of a fight and they didn’t stand up and say ‘no’ to Bush,” said an e-mail message that political operatives for the group MoveOn sent Tuesday to the organization’s members, urging them to sign an online petition calling on Congress to reverse the new law. ...(more)

Darcy Burner is a progressive Democrat running to replace Dave Reichert (R) in Washington's 8th District. If you're sick of conservatives sabotaging our democracy and you'd like to see fewer Republicans in Congress, why not contribute to Darcy's campaign? And/Or you could send a couple of bucks to George Fearing who's running against Doc Hastings (R) over in the 4th Congressional District.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The day of the DLC is over!

More weaselly pleading from the DLC... Martin O'Malley and Harold Ford Jr., from the DLC have an op-ed in the WaPo:
Our Chance to Capture the Center

By Martin O'Malley and Harold Ford Jr.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007; Page A13

They argue that Democrats can win by being centrists and that will bring in the swing voters. The truth is no one is attracted to politicians who stand for nothing and that is exactly what the New Democrats stand for; nothing. Or to be more accurate they have sold out to corporate interests and take no stand that goes counter to those interests.

The New Democrats led by the DLC aren't centrist, they're triangulators attempting to position themselves where they serve their corporates masters without offending the voters near election time. But voters have been catching on.

I'm watch c-span's Washington Journal and question of the morning is based on this op-ed. The 'Democrats Only' callers are uniformly saying "No Way" to the idea of moving to the center. There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow stripe and dead skunks.

The day of the DLC is over; they were all alone at their annual convention while the Democratic Presidential candidates all went to YearlyKos. Even Hillary.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Is Tancredo Working For al-Qaeda?

The NYT political blog "The Caucus" has a post titled "Tancredo Takes a Tough Stance"

The State department and other Republican Presidential hopefuls have said Tom Tancredo is crazy to threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites.

Think about his kind of threat in a different setting; what if the British government had held all Catholics responsible for the actions of the IRA and threaten to nuke the Vatican if another bomb went of in London. Do you really think Catholics around the world would have sided with the Brit's?

Tancredo's statements are so stupid and cartoonish that I'm led to wonder if he's being paid by al-Qaeda to help with their recruitment efforts.

Yeah, yeah , yeah... I know Tancredo is just playing to his ultra-right-wing xenophobic/nativist/racist/eliminationist sociopathic base and (probably) isn't getting paid by Osama bin Laden. But he's doing his crazed tough guy routine on a world stage and making America look bad.

Unfortunately he's not the only one doing 'the stupid'. Bush we just expect to say stupid, insensitive, inflamatory things, but we count on Democrats to be more intelligent and measured. Or at least we used to... Hillary has frequently done 'the stupid' while trying to prove how tough she is and now Obama has shown he can out 'stupid' Hillary. He's taken a bad foreign policy situation created by Bush's butching it up and made it worse.
Pakistan criticizes Obama for 'irresponsible' statement on military strikes

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Hundreds of protesters chanted anti-U.S. slogans and burned an American flag to protest a remark by Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama saying that, if elected, he might order military strikes in Pakistan against al-Qaida.

The protests followed comments by Pakistani officials calling Obama's comments irresponsible.

Obama's comment turned up the heat on already simmering anger among Pakistanis about the issue, after senior Bush administration officials said last week they too would consider such strikes if intelligence warranted them. ...(more)

Oh how I want this chorus line of half-baked Rambolette's to sit down and shut up.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Darcy Burner discussing the FISA bill

- This is Darcy Burner discussing the FISA bill passed by the House and Senate this week expanding Bush's wiretapping authority. You can read more about her at -


Pelosi Seeks to Change FISA Bill

Despite the win President Bush scored on legislation expanding the administration’s eavesdropping authority, Democrats appear determined to make it a temporary victory.

Barely an hour after the House voted, 227-183, to clear the legislation (S 1927) late Aug. 4, Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a letter calling on the Judiciary and Intelligence committees to “send to the House, as soon as possible after Congress reconvenes, legislation which responds comprehensively to the administration’s proposal while addressing the many deficiencies in S 1927.” The legislation expires in February. ...(more)

S.1927 Title: A bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 ...

In the Senate Cantwell voted against the bill (Murray did not vote)

In the House: Washington Republicans Hastings, McMorris Rodgers & Reichert voted for the bill. Washington states Democrats Baird, Dicks, Inslee, Larsen, McDermott & Smith all voted NO.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Senator Durbins Message to YearlyKos

Senator Dick Durbin's taped remarks to over 1000 netroots activists and bloggers for the 2nd Annual YearlyKos Convention in Chicago, IL.


Friday, August 03, 2007

YearlyKos Shows Netroots Clout

Gov. Howard Dean, the chairman of the DNC, gave the keynote address at YearlyKos.

Highlights from Howard Dean @ Yearly Kos
Democratic party chairman Howard Dean got a standing ovation from the large crowd that showed up at 8am to see him speak in Las Vegas at the Yearly Kos conference. Dean spoke for about 20 minutes, then took a number of questions from the audience.

Think Progress has a round-up of MSM coverage of YearlyKos:
Media Revelations From YearlyKos: Bloggers Aren't 'Chaotic,' Carry Political 'Clout'

Netroots Clout

YearlyKos is in full swing in Chicago. Andrew of Northwest Progressive Institute is live blogging the event.

All of the Democratic Presidential candidates are there. DNC chairman Howard Dean gave the keynote address. The Mainstream Media is covering the event.

Joel Connelly has nice things to say about YearlyKos and the netroots:
... It's earnest enough to be a little amusing, but these are serious people intent on taking back their country, with the dream of an America run not through Washington, D.C., spin, but with active participation by the governed. ...
Joe Klein deigns to mention the netroots as he ventures into stalker territory joining DLC chair Harold Ford Jr. in a jilted lovers neurotic conviction that the Presidential candidates will "come to their senses" and come back to the corporatist-sellout fold of the DLC.
... A New York Times Op-Ed piece declared the group "radioactive" within the Democratic Party. None of the Democratic presidential candidates—not even Hillary Clinton, a prominent member of the DLC—deigned to come to Nashville in a year when the contenders are courting every imaginable interest group in the party, including the left-liberal bloggers gathering in Chicago this weekend for the YearlyKos convention. "As much as we wanted you here," said Ford, addressing the candidates in absentia, "we're ready to receive you when you're ready to come home." ...

And if all that isn't evidence enough that the left blogosphere has grown into a movement with clout, the clincher is that Bill O'Reilly is in full, slobbering, eyeball bulging, pulling things out of his ass, attack mode. Even FoxNews editing can't cover up what a lying, bullying, blowhard O'Reilly is. Watch Senator Dodd take Bill to task:


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Conservatism Kills

Just weeks ago a neglected steam pipe caused a huge explosion in the streets of New York. Yesterday, a neglected bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River.

Who hasn't seen the film of "Galloping Gertie", The old Tacoma Narrows Bridge, as it collapsed in a windstorm. That was 1940. Today, 26% of the bridges in Washington state are structurally deficient or obsolete. Then it was a lack of knowledge that allowed a defective bridge design. Now, it's Conservatism that keeps us from maintaining our bridges and highways.

Rick Perlstein at .common sense spells out the connection:

When Howard Dean ran for president, he said George Bush's federal tax cuts were a mirage—that every dollar states and municipalities could not get from the federal government for essential services they would have to raise on their own. They would actually turn out to be a tax hike—if, that is, states and municipalities were able to summon the political will to raise taxes at all. Some have had a hard time doing that.

And now the bill is coming due. The ground is opening up beneath our feet, swallowing people and machines.

And as if the knee-jerk anti-tax reaction of Conservatives wasn't enough of a threat to safety and commerce, their insidious chipping away at product regulation and inspection is bringing us more danger.

This morning the State Attorney Generals office tells us that Conservatism's mindless faith in deregulation and "free trade" has brought us deadly tires from China:

SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged consumers to check the tires on their SUV, pickup or van in case they are among those being recalled. Attorneys General in 24 states issued consumer alerts and have formed a working group to look into concerns that an estimated 270,000 tires brought into the U.S. from China may be potentially unsafe. ...(more)

I had been concerned about Conservatism causing a decline in food safety, but now I'm wondering if I can survive the trip to the grocery store.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Iraq veracity deficiency

There's been a new offensive mounted; it's another concerted attack on the truth. We're supposed to believe the 'Surge' is working and things are improving in Iraq, just because they wish it was so.

NO QUARTER blog points out that the 'things aren't so bad' crowd have gained their supposed Iraq expertise from whirlwind tours of the most secure military installation in Iraq. After having touched a toes to the sands of Iraq they then claim mystical insight.
This is how it happens: A desperate Republican goes to Iraq looking for something—anything—to justify the continuing presence of American troops there. The Republican stays for a week (give or take), and then returns home as if he or she were Moses coming back from Mount Sinai, carrying to the American people stone tablets engraved with The Ultimate Truth About Iraq.
And of course, this Ultimate Truth About Iraq is learned by the Republican in the chow hall, on the secure base, with the hand-picked soldiers sitting at the table.
This is what Senator Jim Webb rightly called the “dog and pony show.” For those who don’t know, that’s an old military expression used to describe how troops are often forced to put on a “show” for visiting politicians or VIPs to convey just how swell everything is going on the front lines. ...(more)
Michael Ware has been reporting from Iraq for a long time, and not from the relative safety of the 'Green Zone'. He doesn't see Iraq through the rose colored glasses of the Neo-Con's and their apologists.

Michael Ware rebuts Cheney, O'Hanlon and Pollack.
Live from Iraq, CNN Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware disputes the veracity of recent claims by Dick Cheney, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack about Iraq.-