Sunday, June 29, 2008

Open Water At The North Pole

There's a strong possibility that artic weather will be so warm this year that there will be open water at the North Pole. But perhaps it isn't really Climate Change, it might be all that Republican hot-air and over-heated rhetoric that's melting the artic ice cap.

North Pole on Thin Ice

Some scientists have asserted that the Arctic ice cap could retreat so dramatically this summer that there could be open water covering the North Pole.

Who Muzzled This Climate Scientist?

Two years ago, the quiet and bookish climate scientist James Hansen kicked up a tempest. He alleged that his work on global warming at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies had been censored, and that he had been prevented from speaking to reporters by politically appointees in NASA’s public affairs office.

Hansen has been outspoken on his belief that the consequences of global warming could be drastic, and that the United States should act as soon as possible to regulate greenhouse gases. After his accusations of censorship were aired in the press, 14 senators requested a full investigation by NASA’s inspector general. Now, the results are in.

From the fall of 2004 through 2006, the report said, NASA’s public affairs office “managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public.” It noted elsewhere that “news releases in the areas of climate change suffered from inaccuracy, factual insufficiency, and scientific dilution” [Washington Post].

...(Discover Magazine - full article)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dino Rossi's Lowlife Pals

They say you can judge a person by the company he keeps and Dino Rossi's bestest buddies are the right-wing extremists who run the BIAW. They've already dumped half a million dollars into scurrilous attack ads. But of course, lies and slander are daily fare for the BIAW's staff.
Rossi's top backers slur environmentalists as Nazis

-Republican Dino Rossi's top backers, the most powerful special interest lobbying group in Olympia, have taken to slurring environmentalists by trivializing Nazism and the Holocaust. Rossi refuses to reject and denounce these remarks, because his political career has been built from the ground up by BIAW. Even today, BIAW continues to spend millions on misleading attack ads against Gov. Gregoire. Visit for more information

The Agenda Behind Rossi & His Special Interest Pals

Between dumping $500,000 into false and misleading attack ads aimed at installing Rossi into the governor's mansion and $450,000 Rossi has pocketed directly from the BIAW, its top leadership and major developers that comprise the BIAW's membership base, Olympia's most powerful special interest lobbyists have now dumped nearly $1 million into Republican Dino Rossi's campaign to bring their Bush-like anti-worker, anti-environmental, anti-consumer agenda to Washington state.

Friday, June 27, 2008

greed on steroids

The cancerous phase of unregulated, corporate welfare, externalize costs and rake in the profits continues. The contrast between a fisherman and a corporate CEO couldn't be more clear. Always leads me to wonder..."just exactly what is it that guy does in an hour that is so unbelieveably valuable????????????" hmmmm

The Exxon Valdez ruling: requiem for fishermen, justice
Finally, after more than 19 years, the Supreme Court has put to rest litigation over punitive damages in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound.
By Frank Mullen
Special to The Times

Oil-covered birds were among the many victims in Prince William Sound in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground about 25 miles from Valdez.

Finally, after more than 19 years, the Supreme Court has put to rest litigation over punitive damages in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound. As a
fisherman involved in the litigation, I have dedicated one-third of my life to observation of this "David vs. Goliath" conflict.
Naturally, since I was an oil-damaged fisherman who lost an entire season of salmon fishing — who waded with hip boots in knee-deep oily mousse along pristine Alaska shoreline while picking up bird carcasses with a stick; who observed firsthand the comedy of horrors as Exxon hired the VECO Corporation to waste millions in a pathetically ineffective response; who has replayed a thousand times in my mind the voice of the drunk Joe Hazelwood slurring into the microphone his report to the Coast Guard: "We have fetched up hard aground on Bligh Reef ... ."

— I expected this case to be a no-brainer, and that the U.S. justice system would prevail on behalf of the little guy. Little did I know in 1989 that I would be sitting at a keyboard nearly 20 years later reflecting on the failures of the U.S. justice system. Little did I know that, as the years went by and I attended funerals of many of my fishermen friends who passed away without seeing closure to this agony, that I would grow to be so angry and disheartened by the success that Exxon has had with their methodical manipulation of the justice system. Way back in 1989, it was rumored that Lee Raymond, the CEO of Exxon at that time, was saying privately that he would dedicate every resource of the corporation to making sure that fishermen never received a dime in compensation. I find it interesting to note that Raymond's severance package when he retired from Exxon some years ago was about $400 million. Now, nearly 33,000 plaintiffs must split an amount only slightly higher than that!

full article
Fisherman Frank
Mullen lives in Homer, Alaska.

and this from the Alaska

... Last year, Exxon generated a record $40.6 billion dollars in profits, the largest profits of any corporation in history. The damages awarded under this ruling represent roughly 4.5 days of Exxon profits. ...
full article

looks like Alaska has a really good candidate running Berkowitz Condemns Exxon Valdez Ruling

powerful little video...imagine if the fisherman had received what the consultants where paid to introduce doubt about the external costs these criminals have shifted to us as they reap in record's our home!

and the contrast between where Lee Raymond, CEOExxon, and the residents and fisherman of Valdez are these almost 20 years later.....hmmmmmm

An Oily Favor
By William Raspberry
Monday, November 14, 2005

Oil profits "go up and down," Exxon Mobil Chairman Lee Raymond told the Senate the other day, explaining why the oil giants' huge post Katrina profits were not profiteering.

Exxon Mobil Chairman Lee Raymond, left, and Chevron Chairman David O'Reilly during a Senate hearing last week. (By Pablo Martinez Monsivais -- Associated Press)

Thus the $32.8 billion in profits that America's five biggest petroleum corporations reported for the JulySeptember quarter were more like a natural occurrence -- that darned "invisible hand"! -- than a calculated effort to take advantage of a national emergency. Profits just "go up and down."
full article

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Robert Kennedy, Jr.spoke in Bellingham today

I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by RE Sources where Robert Kennedy, Jr. spoke eloquently and passionately about the situation we find ourselves in, on this planet of ours. His case for a true free market, allowing us to be good stewards of the planet we all share, is right on. We have a planetary emergency on our hands. We can no longer allow a handful of people to enrich themselves as they greedily squander our shared resources and pass the mess and the bill for the clean-up on to rest of us. We need to immediately stop subsidizing them to behave this way.
I really enjoyed his stories about the law students at Pace University School of Law learning to try cases by trying cases against Hudson River polluters. And winning!!!
It was great to be there for a very inspiring, hopeful message and also to see so many people in this community who care. I hope we are all waking up so we can leave a hospitable home to those who come after. I really appreciate the great work being done by the folks at RE Sources....thanks!

oh, and be sure to go to their be cool page and sign up to be cool

RE Sources' North Sound Baykeeper, Wendy Steffensen with Robert Kennedy, Jr.

RE Sources had a rare opportunity to host Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for a summer luncheon to raise funds and awareness for our North Sound Baykeeper program.

An international spokesperson for the Waterkeeper Alliance and attorney for the
Natural Resource Defense Council, Mr. Kennedy will discuss local and regional
clean water issues and highlight the work of RE Sources’ own Baykeeper, Wendy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wake Up And Smell The Death

Out of sight, out of mind? The dying goes on, even if it isn't on the nightly news.

"06/25/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Capt. Gregory T. Dalessio, 30, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, died June 23 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered in Salman Pak, Iraq, when his patrol encountered small arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion...

"06/24/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Staff Sgt. Du Hai Tran, 30, of Reseda, Calif.,died Jun. 20 in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit while on patrol during combat operations. He was assigned to the Fires Squadron...
Iraq story buried by US networks- features Lara Logan of CBS

More at
Major networks spend only 2 minutes per week on Iraq war coverage; Lara Logan of CBS joins critique

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's The Strategy, Stupid

The Bush Administrations has screwed up from day one. They may have been good at pulling the wool over Americans eyes but once they got the wars they wanted, they proved over and over again that they are a batch of incompetent boobs.

It would be laughable if it weren't for all the suffering and death they've spread.

-NBC: Commanders in Afghanistan say Iraq is hurting them

There are still Bush dead-enders out there saying, "the surge is working" but that just ain't true.
Government Study Criticizes Bush Administration’s Measures of Progress in Iraq

Published: June 24, 2008

Beyond the declines in overall violence in Iraq, several crucial measures the Bush administration uses to demonstrate economic, political and security progress are either incorrect or far more mixed than the administration has acknowledged, according to a report released Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

Over all, the report says, the American plan for a stable Iraq lacks a strategic framework that meshes with the administration’s goals, is falling out of touch with the realities on the ground and contains serious flaws in its operational guidelines. ...(full article)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Global Warming - Truth Or Reality?

It's been clear for quite some time that Global Warming/Climate Change "skeptics" are actually agents of disinformation funded mainly by Big Oil. Those so called skeptics are paid to muddy the waters and give cover to the corrupt politicians who have been blocking actions needed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving global warming.

Now a noted climate scientist says it's time to put those profit hungry Big Oil Boys on trial for putting the human race at risk.
Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist
· Testimony to US Congress will also criticise lobbyists
· 'Revolutionary' policies needed to tackle crisis
Ed Pilkington in New York
The Guardian,
Monday June 23, 2008

James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer. ...(more)

20 Year Anniversary of "Greenhouse Effect"

Jim Hansen - 20 Years of Climate Concerns

Dr. James Hansen, a veteran NASA climate expert, has been both lauded and criticized for moving beyond studying global warming to pressing lawmakers and the public to
end unfettered coal burning and build a nonpolluting energy system. I interviewed him 6.21.08 for a New York Times story and post and video on my Dot Earth blog.

More at and Hansen's personal Web site is:

Gov. Gregoire Posts On Daily Kos

The Governor has made a post on the Daily Kos about Rossi's special interest backers.
Obama and all Democrats face attacks from all directions
by Governor Chris Gregoire

... The BIAW’s values don’t match up with the voters of Washington. As you can see here, here, and here, local bloggers agree. The BIAW has opposed cleaning up toxics in the Puget Sound, opposed fighting globalwarming and even opposed protecting orca whales. My opponent voted with them 99% of the time while he was a State Senator. ... (full post)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Larsen Votes NO On Telecomm Immunity

Among those Democrats who opposed immunity for the telecomm's and stood up for the rule of law, equal justice and the Constitution was our own Democratic Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02).

Today in the House of Representatives, "The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act update passed 293-129, with support from just 107 Democrats. Opposing the measure were 128 Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Timothy Johnson of Illinois."

House votes to expand Bush wiretap powers, telecom immunity
Nick Juliano -
Published: Friday June 20, 2008

Less than 24 hours after introducing a controversial measure to expand President Bush's authority to spy on Americans, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Friday voted to approve the administration- and Republican-supported bill, sending it to the Senate where it will likely be adopted.

Civil liberties and privacy advocates forcefully panned the measure, which was crafted behind closed doors in negotiations among moderate Democrats, Republicans, the White House and telecommunications lobbyists.

"It’s Christmas morning at the White House thanks to this vote," Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, said in a news release. "The House just wrapped up some expensive gifts for the administration and their buddies at the phone companies." ...(full article)
Unfortunately our Washington State Congressional delegation wasn't covered with glory today. Only three of our nine Representatives voted against the "FISA Amendments Act of 2008".

FISA Amendments Act of 2008

WA-03 Baird, Brian (D)
WA-06 Dicks, Norm (D)
WA-09 Smith, Adam (D)
WA-04 Hastings, Doc (R)
WA-05 McMorris, Cathy (R)
WA-08 Reichert, Dave (R)

WA-01 Inslee, Jay R (D)
WA-02 Larsen, Rick (D)
WA-07 McDermott, Jim (D)


Larsen Votes “No” on Retroactive Immunity

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2008

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted today against the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008. Larsen released the following statement:

“Americans who may have been the targets of illegal surveillance have the right to a fair hearing in a federal court. But as a result of this bill, the Bush Administration could be let off the hook for its warrantless wiretapping program.

“The question our federal courts should be allowed to decide – free from congressional intervention -- is whether the law was broken, not whether the Administration wrote permission slips to break it.

“I have supported legislation to establish a strong, effective FISA court and provide the intelligence community with the tools it needs to protect us. But the Bush Administration has placed greater importance on retroactive immunity. This is nothing less than an attempt to protect itself from the legal consequences of its actions at the expense of our national security.”

In November 2007 and in March 2008, Larsen voted for legislation which would have clarified and expanded current FISA law to provide the intelligence community with the tools it needs to keep us safe while maintaining basic rights for American citizens.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

There's A War On!

Why do we have to go to the fake news shows to get news?
Tue, June 17, 2008 - The Daily Show

Lara Logan

CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan feels responsible for Americans not understanding what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

100 Years In Iraq?

McCain on the occupation of Iraq: "It Doesn't Matter...We Could Be There For A Hundred Years, For All I Know."

But it does matter to some people.

Digby has noted that the right-wingers standardized hissy fit over any ad by MoveOn has been internalized by the MSM. Chuck Todd and the MSNBC gang, for no discernible reason, spouted the wing-nut line that the ad will backfire... never mind the fact that two out of three Americans say the war in Iraq hasn't been worth it.
ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 12-15, 2008. N=1,125 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS.
"All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting, or not?"
Worth It --------- 34%

Not Worth It --- 63%

Unsure ----------- 3%

Sunday, June 15, 2008


The conservitarians have a fantasy of riches for all through less government and what they call "free markets". They seem to think that prosperity will settle on all of us like a gentle morning dew if only 'the government' will just give us those magic tax-cuts.

But the historical truth about unregulated capitalism is that it produces a few very wealthy captains-of-industry, a tiny middle class and the vast majority of the population working long hours for subsistence wages without any sort of security.

De-regulation has become a global phenomena and now it's destructive effects are beginning to show up worldwide.


How Speculators Are Causing the Cost of Living to Skyrocket

After investing in high-tech stocks and real estate loans for years, legions of speculators have now discovered commodities like oil and gas, wheat and rice. Their billions are pushing prices up to astronomical levels -- with serious consequences for ordinary people's quality of life and the global economy.


Part 1: How Speculators Are Causing the Cost of Living to Skyrocket
Part 2: Commodities: The Biggest Growth Industry of the 21st Century
Part 3: America's Capital Markets Are Run by 29-Year-Olds

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bush Administration's Insecurity Policies

Maliki raises possibility that Iraq might ask U.S. to leave (so much for the "the surge is working" spin)
CNN's Michael Ware talks about how the long term security agreement between Iraq and the U.S. is shaping up.

Investigative journalism by McClatchy reporters shows that the Bush Administration's detainee policies have made things worse, not better.
Starting Sunday
For more than six years, the United States has held hundreds of men at Guantanamo — "the worst of the worst," in the words of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. But the truth was different. McClatchy tracked down 66 men released from Guantanamo in the most systematic survey to date of prisoners held there. Many had no connection to terrorism, but their experience turned them against America.

Watch the video.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thank you! Center for Constitutional Rights

a hug hat tip and actual tip if at all possible to the hard work and people rock!!

and wake up America it soooooooooooooo matters who chooses the next supreme court judges....

Supreme Court: Guantánamo
Detainees Have Constitutional Right to Habeas Corpus
CCR, Co-Counsel Win Landmark Case
Washington, DC — In one of the most important human rights cases of the decade, the Supreme Court of the United States held today, in a 5-4 decision, that the men imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay have the constitutional right to habeas corpus.One of the oldest and most basic legal protections, habeas corpus affords the incarcerated the right to stand before a judge and confront the charges presented against him or
her. The Center for Constitutional Rights has been sending habeas counsel to represent the prisoners at the base since winning the first Guantánamo case, Rasul v. Bush, in 2004, and applauds today’s decision.
full press release

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

McCain Not A Good Choice For Women

The press corps has been too busy praising McCain's barbecue skills to grill him on his record on reproductive rights.
National Institute For Reproductive Health

Why Do Women Give McCain a Zero?

John McCain's record on reproductive rights couldn't be more appalling. There, we said it! We said it because the corporate media won't confront McCain on the real issues in this election. They won't tell you, for instance, that McCain has consistently received a big fat zero from NARAL on its pro-choice scorecard. Nor will they tell you that McCain has flip-flopped on Roe v. Wade and now supports overturning this all-too-crucial case.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dear Democrats...(in Washington State)

It's a nominating process, not an election.
As the discussion of “primary vs caucus” comes up occasionally, I have noticed people seem sort of resigned to us using the primary soon. They say things like “it's what the voters want.” They are fine with the notion that this is an election and not our nominating process. Anyone can say they are a democrat and participate in our caucus nominating process. If we use the taxpayer funded Presidential primary in this open primary state, it will no longer be Democrats who nominate our candidates it will be anybody and everybody.
There is a confusion of terms that has very successfully distorted the discussion regarding choosing the nominees we, as a party, place for nomination to the general election. Using the tax payer funded election primary election, in my opinion, is fraught with peril and unintended consequences, as we currently are experiencing in the August primary where it has turned into a top two winnowing process. It no longer has anything to do with our nominating process. It is possible under this circumstance for no Democrat to survive to run in the general election. And mischief will be easy. Voters will not have to change registration. An “operation chaos” could be a stunning success in our state.
We Democrats should define our process and be the ones who choose the nominees we send to the general election. The bar to participate should be no lower than being willing to publicly register as a Democrat to even consider the primary. As it is now, sign-in as a Democrat, is the only bar to participate. Using the primary, if someone wasn't willing to register(when registering to vote) as a Democrat, it would just mean they wouldn't be able to participate in our party's nominating process. They may choose to participate in another party's nominating process. They would continue to secretly vote for whomever they wish in the general election, as we all do now. If we lower that bar we will have given our process and our voice away. Anybody and everybody will influence the candidates our party sends to the voters. As I work day in and day out to choose the best candidates to advance the values we stand for, the thought that someone who doesn't necessarily think of themselves as a Democrat would have the same voice in this process is very offensive to me.
It is here I plead with Democrats to hang on to and pass on a living, breathing democracy to those that come after. There are many things we can improve. I advocate making proxy available to anybody who wishes to use one for whatever reason. All they would have to do is request it and send it in by the deadline, as it is now, so it can be forwarded to precinct in plenty of time to be counted in the tally on caucus day. If the precincts were made smaller and we could continue to get PCO's (precinct committee officer.....i like to say “i didn't even know what one was, and now I is one.)recruited, we would have a better idea who the Democrats are. As it was, I sent out postcards to all my A's and B's (approximately 100 in my precinct) personally calling them to caucus and it cost me less than $30. It could be done earlier with instructions for the proxy process and contact information. The PCO is the elected position closest to the represented. I think we can continue to demonstrate the democratic process now, if we choose to take the opportunity.
The idea of using the tax payer funded primary election as our means of nominating our parties candidates has been marketed to us very successfully and we are very close to completely “giving it away.” I hope for those who come after we don't fall for it.

and........I am so pleased that our nominee, Barack Obama, has such awesome community organizing skills. Our community is on life support and there is much work to be done by all of us.......Everyone must be called to participate.... We should make it better not throw it away.....and I believe we can. here is a great piece on the subject.....

Kill Caucuses or Not? (Answer: Don't Kill Caucuses!)
by: tremayneMon Jun 09, 2008 at 16:01

Well before the primaries started many people advocated ridding our system of caucuses based primarily on the argument they are undemocratic. Markos was one of the louder voices on this. The main "caucuses are bad" argument is simply that
participation rates are much lower than for traditional primaries. In primary states you can vote all day (about 12 hours) or you can vote absentee or, in some states, you can vote early. In caucus states there is only one day you can vote and you have to be there at a set time and it's going to last a while (in most states). Naturally this lowers participation.
As the 2008 primary race unfolded it became clear to many Hillary Clinton supporters that caucuses were indeed "bad" just as it became clear to many Barack Obama supporters that caucuses were "not so bad" or perhaps "awesome." Even Kos has been changing his tune.
As Chris Bowers has noted, Obama's strength in caucuses is largely due to his strength with party activists. Because a certain level of commitment (and willingness to publicly declare your vote) is required for caucuses, the people that show up tend me more politically motivated than your average primary voter. Some have argued that caucuses are good because they reward the activists. I am uncomfortable with this line of argument myself.
full post at Open Left

Articles Of Impeachment Against Bush

Kucinich Presents 35 Articles Of Impeachment Against Bush

Kucinich presents Bush impeachment articles

David Edwards and Mike SheehanPublished: Monday June 9, 2008

An Ohio Democratic lawmaker and former presidential candidate has presented articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush to Congress.

Thirty-five articles were presented by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to the House of Representatives late Monday evening, airing live on C-SPAN.

[ RawStory - full article ]

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Campaign Season Is Here - Get Involved

You might have thought things political would be quieting down for awhile now that Barak Obama has won the Democratic Presidential nomination.

But it ain't so! Candidate filing closed yesterday and now it's campaign season in Washington State.

With the new winnowing election, that's replaced the primary, there's no time to waste. Winnowing ballots will be in the mail August 1st, a mere 10 weeks away. Precious little time to get to know the candidates and where they stand on important issues.

If you're interested in getting involved here's an invitation from the Whatcom County Democrats.
Campaign Connection June 11th

Democrats in Whatcom County are invited to meet with local candidates and representatives of the Obama Presidential campaign, Governor Gregoire's re-election campaign, and find out how you can get involved. This event is happening in conjunction with the Whatcom Democrats' regular monthly membership meeting, but at a SPECIAL LOCATION: Sunnyland School Gym, 2800 James Street, Bellingham (Just south of Sunset & I-5; on multiple bus routes; on the Railroad Trail)

*The Schedule of Events*

*5:30 - 9 PM Drop in* any time to find out all the ways you can help the Presidential, governor's, and local legislative campaigns. Sign up to volunteer, pick up yard signs and bumper stickers, and learn more about the candidates.

*7 - 9 PM Membership Meeting* (ALL DEMOCRATS WELCOME)--Members will vote on endorsements in uncontested Democratic races and possibly some ballot initiatives--Meet the Campaign Field Rep for the Presidential campaign--Learn about campaign plans for this summer and fall.

Please forward this message to your friends and neighbors who might be interested in getting involved.

Friday, June 06, 2008

They Lied, Thousands Died

U.S. Casualties in Iraq
Dead - 4,059
Wounded - 30,182

Those terrible numbers say nothing about the death and destruction rained down on Iraqi civilians or millions of Iraqi's who've lost everything and become refugees.

And going to war was based on lies! The invasion of Iraq was a war of aggression, a crime under international law. [ and for my rightwing readers - those international laws apply because the U.S. is a signatory to the treaties that created those international laws. In other words, they apply because we (the U.S. of A.) agreed to abide by those laws. ]

The Bush Administration continues to lie, but the day of reckoning is coming. The evidence is accumulating and given time, those who lied us into war will be called to account.


The Propaganda Campaign Dissected

By Dan FroomkinSpecial to Friday, June 6, 2008; 1:22 PM

Yesterday's long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report further solidifies the argument that the Bush administration's most blatant appeals to fear in its campaign to sell the Iraq war were flatly unsupported.

Some of what President Bush and others said about Iraq was corroborated by what later turned out to be inaccurate intelligence. But their most compelling and gut-wrenching allegations -- for instance, that Saddam Hussein was ready to supply his friends in al-Qaeda with nuclear weapons -- were simply made up.

In an accident of timing, the report also validates former press secretary Scott McClellan's conclusion in his new book that the White House pursued a "political propaganda campaign" to market the war.

The White House response? That officials in Congress and elsewhere were saying the same things about Iraq. Or in other words, that other people bought the administration line. It takes a lot of chutzpah to defend yourself against charges that you've engaged in a propaganda campaign by noting that it worked.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

RNC Clueless Offer

I've got my chuckle of the day:

The RNC, without apparent irony, is offering a white elephant as a contribution come-on.

With Bush's approval rating at 25% and the Republican Party's Favorables at 39% vs. 57% for the Democratic Party, they maybe should've thought a little harder about the symbolism.

The Pew Research Center found:
"Although the overall favorability of the Republican Party has not changed since July 2007, Republicans' views of their own party are down 10 points since last year; currently, 73% of Republicans have a favorable view of their party compared with 83% in July 2007. Virtually all of this decline has come among conservative Republicans. Currently, 74% of conservative Republicans have a favorable view of the party compared with 87% last July."

h/t to Sam Taylor, B'ham Herald Politics Reporter, for posting the RNC email offer.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Stephanie Kountouros Holds TownHall Meeting

Washington 40th Legislative District State Senate candidate Stephanie Kountouros held a townhall meeting last night at the Bellingham Public Library.

Bellingham Herald Politics Reporter Sam Taylor covered the event and posted an article on his blog: Kountouros: A plea for involvement

Here's video of the beginning of the meeting. [ video shot by Peggy (jpeg) ]
Segment #1 - introduction by Kat Bula, a local musician and co-organizer of the Bellingham Downtown Alliance for Music and Nightlife. Segments #2 thru 4 - Candidate Stephanie Kountouros.

Monday, June 02, 2008

WA 42nd LD - Mark Flanders Tells Why He's Running

Mark Flanders is running for WA State Representative for the 42nd Legislative District.

Over the years, I've read plenty of campaign literature and I'm not impressed by the typical "Mom & Apple pie" rhetoric. You know the sort of stuff I'm talking about; candidates who are in favor of everything good, in a really vague catch-phrase way.

I started looking over Mark's campaign website and when I read his blog entry on why he's running, I was genuinely impressed. His honesty, openness and genuine concern for the community is a breath of fresh air and in stark contrast to his opponents smug platitudes & purely partisan attitudes.

I've posted Mark's entire blog entry so you read it for yourself.

Mark Flanders Blog
Why are you running?
Wed, May 28, 2008 - 08:11 PM
Posted by mf. in Election 2008

Why are you running?” Coslo asked.

It seemed such a simple question, but I paused.

“It can’t be just because somebody needs to run against Eriksen.” said Francis.

“Because I care deeply about this community.” suggested Tom, sarcastically.

We all laughed, but then they turned to me and waited for me to answer.

These friends of mine who only two weeks ago made a joke of anything and everything political, not because they didn’t care, but because they had cared for so long that their frustration was all that they had left. Now that I had tossed my hat into the ring, they were all business. They were not kidding, and I’d better not be full of it.

I told them I was still working on it.

Certainly, I have thoughtful, progressive positions on issues and can make a strong case that I am a skilled problem solver, a person of integrity and even a gifted communicator. But none of these really answered the initial question.

Hours later, after some time on my own to reflect, I have an answer.

I am running because I love Whatcom County, not as someone who has always lived here, but as someone who went away and came back. I commuted in traffic jams for years. I have seen crime in the streets. I have seen dire poverty in Africa, and how good people counted on each other to survive. I lived in the center of a great city, and learned not only how bad it was, but how beautiful it could be, with a genuine and grounded sense of community. I saw how people in Europe belonged to their homelands, but were limited in who they could become, and how, in America we have we have an incredible freedom of possibilities, but often don’t know where we belong. I learned to respect those who I used to criticize for their conservatism, because I recognized the value and wisdom in some of their choices, even as I try to explain the values and insight of my own. I love Whatcom County for the wild independent people in the foothills, the retired hippies, the third generation busted up loggers, the berry farmers and the dairy farmers and the Ukrainians and Hispanics and even the transplanted Californians. I was back here visiting my mother a decade ago, in a rented Mustang convertible. On a brilliant sunny day, out on a lonely
stretch of road in the eastern county, I stopped the car and just sat there.
That was the day I decided to come home, and to bring my wife with me.

On a somewhat less philosophical note, I have another reason I’m running.

It is my sense of the times that we are heading into a time of transition, and that there will be difficult challenges in the next decade. The country is in two wars,
that remain oddly distant from most of our daily lives. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and it doesn’t look temporary this time. People are going to have to make some decisions about it. Food prices are rising. Wages are stagnant, and the global economy is everywhere, and yet seems somehow tenuous, as the economy teeters along. Americans are migrating in search of better situations. Our culture and ethnicity is more diverse each year, and we all need to learn and be considerate of each other. Devastating natural disasters are becoming more commonplace. The list goes on. I’m not a doomsday type. I believe in the future, but I think we’re in for some tough times, and call me crazy, but I think I have the perspective to help us through, and to see opportunities to create a future that embraces the best of our past, with the progressive possibilities of the future.

You may ask, how does all of this have anything to do with little old Whatcom County, or even Washington State? My question to you is , in what way do these things not relate to Whatcom County and Washington State? Once upon a time, we could pretend that we were not apart of the rest of the world, but those days are gone. We should see this as an opportunity and put our minds and hands to the task.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sirota On The Colbert Report

Thursday May 29 2008

David Sirota explains the presidential campaign isn't the only place where change happens.

David Sirota wrote about the experience of being on the Colbert Report:
"Did Stephen Colbert Really Call Me Che Guevara?"

David has a new book coming out: "The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington"