Wednesday, November 29, 2006

America vs. Centrism

Right-wingers have tried to say the '06 elections were a victory for 'Conservatism' because the winning candidates weren't strawman Hollywood Liberals. But that notion isn't getting any traction.

The Beltway Punditocracy is arguing it was a victory for 'Centrism' and, since they are the MSM's go to people, that construct is getting a thorough airing. It seems 'Hotline' is ready to lay on some more threadbare thinking:
The American Democracy Conference

Once again, The Hotline has partnered with the Univ. of VA's Center of Politics to present our 9th annual American Democracy Conference. It's a unique year-end event in that it doesn't just look back on the year that was but looks ahead to the election that will be.

This year's ADC will feature a keynote address by James Carville, ...
Yeah, that's the same Carville who wanted DNC chairman Howard Dean removed because Democrats won majorities in the both the U.S. House and Senate. Carville might be good at making a sow's ear look like a silk purse, but when it comes to ideas about political movements, look else where(!).

David Sirota has pointed out what's wrong with the Beltway idea of Centrism.

David Sirota: The "Center" of What, Exactly?

David SirotaTue Nov 28, 1:42 PM ET

That's really the problem with the term - and with Washington's definition of it. "Centrism" as defined in the political dialogue today means "being in the middle of elite opinion in Washington, D.C." But if you plot this "center" on the continuum that is American public opinion, you will find that it is nowhere near the actual center of the country at large. The center of elite Washington opinion is ardently free trade, against national health care, opposed to market regulation, for continuing the Iraq War, and supportive of the flattest tax structure we've had in contemporary American history. That center is on the extreme fringe of the center of American public opinion, which is ardently skeptical of free trade, for universal health care, supportive of strong market regulations, insistent that the war end soon, and in favor of making the tax system more progressive.

This is not some conspiracy theory I'm putting forward here - it's all out in the open, proved by public opinion data readily available to anyone who looks for it (I wrote an article on this for the Nation with some of it a few years back). I've long hoped for a day when the media references to the "center" meant the center of the United States of America, not merely the center of K Street, the National Press Club Building, The Palm at Dupont Circle and Fox News's Capitol Hill studio green room. Perhaps that's too wishful. ...(full article)

Beyond the Beltway, out here in (no color code added) America, there's something happening that doesn't fit the pundits worn-out explanations:
- Des Moines Register -
Whatever it's called, stand up for the little guy

November 28, 2006
An interesting shift in the political lexicon has accompanied the change in control of Congress. The new Democratic majority isn't being described as liberal, but rather as centrist. Some members also are embracing a label that hasn't been heard much lately: populist.

Populism has been out of favor for a long time, perhaps because it carries connotations of demagoguery, of rabble rousing with popular but unsound proposals.

But the original meaning of populism was to stand up for ordinary people against powerful, moneyed interests. The country could use a little of that right now.

There certainly is a general belief that government responds only to moneyed interests and that the average American is powerless against big corporations.

Congress has occupied itself in recent years with confirming those suspicions by letting industries write their own legislation and generally working to make the rich richer.

If the new populists in the next Congress can govern with the interests of ordinary people foremost in their minds, it will be a welcome change. ...

... The test for the new Democratic populists will be whether they live up to the label. (full article)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

could it be "civil war"??????

here's what our so called pres says.......
President Bush told Wolf Blitzer that he "rejects the notion that [Iraq] is in civil war" and that he "can't learn it from the newscasts" and instead trusts "the commanders on the ground" for their assessments.
full article

this video of Michael Ware from Iraq is stunning.......he is risking his
life to tell us the truth.
Michael Ware on Iraqi Civil

more Michael and wanna-be's.....

Time reporter, Michael Ware,: Iraqi resistance finely organized, cutthroat

Monday, December 8, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Attacks on coalition forces in Iraq are expected to increase leading up to the transfer of power in July, according to the top commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. Time magazine reporter Michael Ware gained exclusive access to the Iraqi insurgents, spending months with them for this week's cover story. Ware shared his experiences and observations Monday with CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien

.............These guys, some of them are from the Fedayeen. Indeed, the leader of this unit is a former Fedayeen. They're very cutthroat. These guys mean business and they're blood thirsty. But the bulk of the commanders and the bulk of the fighters are former military, former intelligence, former security staff. These men are well trained and committed. The Fedayeen are fighting for revenge and for the dream that one day perhaps, Saddam fantastically might come back. However the ex-military officers are fighting, as they say, for Iraq. Saddam or not, they want foreign occupiers off their soil and they're going about it with some precision. Certainly a lot more than we've seen before.
full article

interesting reporting on presidental wanna-be's...........can these rethugs be painted paletable by 2008????

..........Senator John Warner (R-VA) made that observation in a November 15 meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which he chairs, when he noted that Sunday would mark the day when U.S. involvement in Iraq exceeded that of World War II. "I remember the period well. I was a young sailor in the following year of that war," said Warner of World WarII. "And accordingly, I note that on November 26th, 2006, this year,but a few days away, our involvement in Iraq will surpass the length of this historic World War II period."America's only longer wars have been the Vietnam War (eight years, five months), the Revolutionary War (six years, nine months), and the Civil War (four years). At least 300 Iraqis were killed over the extended weekend, including 200 in a series of bombings on Thursday. Six Sunnis were burned alive by Shiite militiamen on Friday after leaving worship services -- and right in front of Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene.Meanwhile, two U.S. Marines were killed Saturday in Anbar province, raising to at least 2,875 the number of U.S. servicemen who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war. Fifty-six American troops have died so far in November.

One of the only Republicans in Congress with a shred of integrity when it
comes to this war is Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, who has been a steady critic of the Bush administration's conduct of the war for the last two years. Writing in a Washington Post editorial yesterday that "the future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis -- not the Americans," Hagel made the point that "there will be no military victory or military solution for Iraq."Here's more from Hagel: "The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose. "We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans.Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government." Near the end of his column, Hagel says what most Americans now understand: "The United States must begin planning for a phased troop withdrawal from Iraq." This kind of realism has never been much of a surprise coming from someone like Hagel who, unlike most in the Bush administration, is actually aVeteran who has seen combat.

full article

Privatizing the Fish in the Sea

A reminder why we don't like Alaska's Senator Ted Steven (Rrrrrr) or his 'partner in crime' Rep. Don Young

Ted Stevens, Don Young and MSA's Dirty Big Secret

...privatizing a public resource and micromanaging the market like they were the Communist Party or something. ...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The "Free-Trade" Rip-Off

Free-Trade is a scam. The whole "Free-Market" pitch is a scam, designed to rip-off working people. GATTS, NAFTA and other "Free-Trade" agreements are taking the assets of the whole of society, accumulated over generations, and putting it into the pockets of a wealthy elite. And what's worse, ordinary working people have been sold the fairy-tale that their declining economic situation is their own fault.
Revisiting NAFTA
Still not working for North America's workers

By Robert E. Scott, Carlos Salas, and Bruce Campbell; Introduction by Jeff Faux


by Jeff Faux

Despite its name, the primary purpose of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was not to facilitate trade among separate sovereign societies. Rather, it was to promote an integrated continental economy and establish the rules to govern it.

As a former foreign minister of Mexico once remarked, NAFTA was “an agreement for the rich and powerful in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, an agreement effectively excluding ordinary people in all three societies.” It should, therefore, be no surprise that NAFTA rules protect the interests of large corporate investors while undercutting workers’ rights, environmental protections, and democratic accountability. Hence, NAFTA should be seen not as a stand-alone treaty, but as part of a long-term campaign by the conservative business interests in all three countries to rip up their respective domestic social contract. ...

... Americans were promised that NAFTA would generate large numbers of net new good jobs. Instead, over a million jobs that would otherwise have been created were lost, and wages were pressured downward for a large number of workers with less than a college education.

Mexican employment did increase, but much of it in low-wage “maquiladora” industries, which the promoters of NAFTA promised would disappear. The agricultural sector was devastated and the share of jobs with no security, no benefits, and no future expanded. The continued willingness every year of hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens to risk their lives crossing the border to the United States because they cannot make a living at home is in itself testimony to the failure of NAFTA to deliver on the promises of its promoters. ...

... The reality is that the denial of social protections in the rules of an internationally integrated market inevitably undermines the protections established in the previously separate domestic economies after decades of political struggle. In that sense, the “vision” of NAFTA is profoundly reactionary: it pushes nations back toward a 19th century ideology in which government’s economic function is to protect the interests of investors, while working people—the overwhelming majority in each nation—are left to fend for themselves. ... (full article)
But, there's hope! At least We hope there is.

Here Come the Economic Populists

Published: NYT - November 26, 2006

FOR years, the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, exercising a lock on the party’s economic policies, argued that the economy could achieve sustained growth only if markets were allowed to operate unfettered and globally. ...

... With the Democrats now a majority in Congress, and disquiet over globalization growing, a party faction that has been powerless — the economic populists — is emerging and strongly promoting an alternative to Rubinomics.

The populists argue that the national income has flowed disproportionately into corporate coffers and the nation’s wealthiest households, and that the imbalance has grown worse in recent years. They want to rethink America’s role in the global economy. They would intervene in markets and regulate them much more than the Rubinites would. For a start, they would declare a moratorium on new trade agreements until clauses were included that would, for example, restrict layoffs and protect incomes. ... (full article)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bush's top 5 Pseudo-Events

Published on Friday, November 24, 2006 by the Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin)
Pseudo-Events Define Six Years of the Bush Regime
by David Benjamin

Now that the overthrow of Congress has launched President Bush into a two-year slough of lame-duck limbo (or, in NBA terms, "garbage time"), it's appropriate to ponder what has befallen America in the Bush era. My guiding light, throughout the ordeal, has been Daniel Boorstin's 1961 book, "The Image."

Boorstin grew alarmed by the ability of Sen. Joseph McCarthy to titillate the press with slanders and fabrications about fictional commies in the government. In "The Image," Boorstin noted that McCarthy got press because he always scheduled his bombshells conveniently for reporters' deadlines. Boorstin referred to McCarthy's strategic incursions into the news cycle as "pseudo-events."

Boorstin defined a pseudo-event as having four qualities: not spontaneous, planted primarily (not always exclusively) for the purpose of being reported or reproduced, having an ambiguous relation to the underlying reality of the situation, and usually intended to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Boorstin wrote, "We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in place of reality."

If this all rings familiar, it's because we are six years into an administration composed almost exclusively of unreality - smoke, mirrors, and staged events before invitation-only audiences. Bush staffers got into the habit of mocking the press and public as "the reality-based community."

Boorstin might well have dubbed this White House the pseudo-presidency. ...

Here are my choices for the Top Five Pseudo-Events of the Bush regime:

5.Plastic Turkey for the Troops. On the first Thanksgiving of the Iraq war, Dubya surprised the troops with a turkey dinner. Except, well, the turkey, which photographed beautifully, was fake. And Dubya didn't actually hang around for dinner. Nice uniform, though.

4. Dubya's Ground Zero Grandstand Play. Bush got years of media mileage for showing up at ground zero in New York three days late. Dressed like a manly man and yelling through a megaphone as firefighters cheered and cops wept, Bush promised to hunt down Osama bin Laden and avenge this outrage. Since then, Bush has exploited the victims of Sept. 11, cut funding for first responders (firefighters and cops) and, um ... Osama? Still out there.

3. Bush v. Gore. The perfect TV pseudo-event. Talking heads suffered a case of the collective vapors while reading the Supreme Court decision that handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush. You could cut the suspense with a knife, but only if you neglected to note that all the justices on Dubya's side (except, of course, for William Rehnquist, proud product of Tricky Dick) had been appointed by administrations in which Bush's father was president or vice president.

2. The Jackson Square Light Show. Three days late (again), Dubya coptered into the Big Easy. Stagehands set up a thrilling array of klieg lights, powered with giant generators. Dubya knitted his brow, clenched his fist, made a speech and blew town. Then the stagehands packed up the lights and took away the generators. Rescue teams went back to hunting for dead bodies in the dark.

1. "Mission Accomplished." Ah, the USS Abraham Lincoln. The glorious landing. The flight suit. The boyish smirk. The banner. The declaration of triumph in Iraq, with only 2,500 more American kids (give or take a thousand) left to kill. Brilliant! Dazzling! Mwah!

...(full article)

It may still take some time to get the MSM to do their job instead of taking the easy path. As Molly Ivins notes about reporting on Bush's visit to Indonesia:

...Thanks from a grateful nation for an obedient press corps that failed during Bush’s six-hour, carefully orchestrated visit to Indonesia to register the fact that there were massive demonstrations against his administration and its policies toward Muslims. The demonstrators during his short visit forced him to stay behind the presidential palace wall all day and—due to concerns for his safety—not spend the night. ...(full article)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Things to be Grateful For

The 2006 election:

U.S. House
D 231 Gain +29
R 200

U.S. Senate
D 51 Gain +5
R 49

State Governments:
• Democrat 28 Gain +6
• Republican 22

Legislative control: 24D, 16R, 9 split, 1 nonpartisan.

Chambers controlled: 56D, 41R, 1 nonpartisan.

Total control, legislature and governor: 16D, 10R, 23 divided, 1 nonpartisan.

Net gains of legislative seats: +321D (+148D East, +107D Midwest, +21D South, +73D West).

Ballot Measure Results: A Bad Night for Many, A Great Night for a Few
November 8, 2006 6:12 am MST

Ballot measure results are in for most races. One of the most striking features of this year’s results is the unusually low number of initiatives approved by voters. Between 1990 and 2004, an average number of 48 percent of citizen initiatives passed. This year it’s looking like it’ll be more like 35 – 40 percent. It’s likely that voter fatigue from long ballots contributed to this – there were more initiatives on the ballot this year than in any other year besides 1996 and 1914. In both of those years, there were 87 initiatives on the ballot; this year, there were 76.

Reducing the Power of Government

Another remarkable trend this year is the nearly complete failure of a spate of initiatives that sought to limit the power of government. These included

  • the broader, more controversial property rights measures called regulatory takings (the narrower, more straightforward eminent domain measures are not included in this group),
  • term limits,
  • efforts to expand the initiative process,
  • limits on the judiciary,
  • tax and spending limitations (aka TABOR), and
  • major tax and revenue cuts.

Of the 17 measures in this vein, just one passed – a combined regulatory takings/eminent domain initiative in Arizona. Similar measures in California and Idaho failed, as well as a simple regulatory takings initiative in Washington. Legislative term limits failed to pass in Oregon, which will almost certainly prove to be the nail in the coffin of the term limits movement. Measures to rein in the judiciary failed in three states, including South Dakota’s sweeping “judicial accountability” measure. This would have let a panel of volunteers draft rules for how judges, juries, prosecutors and certain local officials must make decisions. The panel would also be empowered to decide who followed the rules, and to punish those who didn’t with fines, jail time, and the loss of public pension and insurance benefits. The three TABOR proposals on the ballot all failed to pass as well.

This might seem like a surprising result, given the obvious anti-incumbent sentiment and frustration with government that were expressed in candidate election results. So why did they fail? These were faux-populist measures. Rather than arising from a grassroots movement and popular demand for these policy changes, the initiatives owe much to out-of-state supporters. Most petitions were circulated by out-of-state circulators, paid by out-of-state groups. Campaigns were also largely financed by out-of-state money. This fact was widely criticized in the media. Out-of-state influence in initiative campaigns is certainly not a new tendency, but has been growing steadily over the past decade. Perhaps voters finally said “enough is enough.” Another negative influence affecting the vote in these campaigns may have been the large number of measures in this vein that were blocked from the ballot by the courts for irregularities or outright fraud in the petition process (there were at least eight TABOR and regulatory takings measures blocked in five states). Again, this was widely reported in the media, and contributed to negative voter attitudes toward these issues this year. ...(more)

From Hotline... the Democratic trend continues even after the election
How Many Others Will Flip?

More proof that New England Republicans are in danger of taking up permanent residence at the margins comes this morning when a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives switches from Republican to Democrat. North Stonington Republican Diana Urban, elected to a fourth term two weeks ago, often voted with Democrats in the legislature. Her departure from the ranks of the GOP reduces their number to 44 of 151. ...(more)

And the BIG reason behind Democrats winning:

Published on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle
Populism's Revival
by James Lardner

Now that the Democratic victory has sunk partway in, maybe we can begin to process another result of this remarkable election: After a quarter-century of growing economic inequality, America decided to talk about it.

It's "the main issue that drove me to run," said James Webb at one of the 12 churches he visited a couple of Sundays before his squeaker victory over Virginia Sen. George Allen.

In Montana, Jon Tester ran as an old-fashioned populist -- a species long considered extinct in his part of the country. When the incumbent, Sen. Conrad Burns, accused him of fomenting class warfare, Tester delivered one of the more pungent putdowns of the political year. "I'm about the middle class, Sen. Burns," he replied. "You're about your rich crony lobbyist friends on K Street."

While few candidates talked as tough as the two underdogs who finally put their party in charge of the Senate, the home stretch of the campaign saw Democrats across the country picking up where John Edwards left off in early 2004 (before party strategists advised him that his "two Americas" message was too harsh)... (more)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

billmon on Riverbend

i just had to link to this post because i think he does an amazingly accurate description of our national shame where Iraq is concerned. i know i feel deeply and bitterly ashamed of myself. i have referred to myself as a lazy-ass chicken-shit in the past. that being said, i do hope i will rise to the occasion more and more. my life has already changed soooo much in the last 4-5 years. everyday i ask myself what i should be doing. life will never be the same. and still, i say that from the comfort of a peaceful, abundant lifestyle. will i stand up and be counted???

........Riverbend's topic is the Lancet study on war deaths in Iraq, and she curtly
eviscerates the conservative Holocaust deniers:

......We literally do not know a single Iraqi family that has not seen the violent death of a first or second-degree relative these last three years. Abductions, militias, sectarian violence, revenge killings, assassinations,
car-bombs, suicide bombers, American military strikes, Iraqi military raids, death squads, extremists, armed robberies, executions, detentions, secret prisons, torture, mysterious weapons -- with so many different ways to die, is the number so far fetched?

Nor does she have any kind words for any of the rest of us here in God Bless America, whether on the left or the right, who posture and bloviate while her country dies a slow, agonizing death:

.......They write about and discuss Iraq as I might write about the Ivory Coast or Cambodia -- with a detachment and lack of sentiment that, I suppose, is meant to be impartial. Hearing American politicians is even worse: They fall between idiots like Bush -- constantly and totally in denial, and opportunists who want to use the war and ensuing chaos to promote themselves.

That last one hits too close to home. A bulls eye, in fact. I've probably been as guilty as anyone of thinking of the war as some sort of strategy game, or a domestic political issue or a fascinating, if bloody, story -- a news junkie's next fix. When you're 8,000 miles and an existential light year away from the war, it's easy to distance yourself, intellectually and emotionally, from the stench of blood and the bloated corpses.There's also a natural tendency, which I touched on yesterday, to make it all about us -- to consciously or unconsciously treat the Iraqis like extras
(or worse, bloody mannequins) in a Mad Max remake produced and directed by

full post

Tom Friedmans head is flat

David Sirota hopes that Tom Friedman will be among those whose journalism jobs will be outsourced to India.

I'm with Sirota, I can't stand Friedmans chirpy cheerleading for merciless corporate globalization.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rush’s red state blues. A new Democracy Corps poll finds that, in conservative-held congressional districts nationwide, “liberals” and “progressives” are viewed more favorably than Rush Limbaugh. On a scale of warm (100) to cold (0), here was the breakdown: progressives 45.0; liberals 40.1; Rush Limbaugh 33.0. November 21, 2006 1:25 pm |
Wonder what it would take to get our local talkradio station KGMI to replace that drug addict Rush with a real American like Thom Hartmann.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

42nd LD Election Results

I've looked over the Election results for the 42nd Legislative District and they're definitely BLUE. The 42nd district covers Northern Whatcom County and part of Bellingham. The myth has been that if you take away the Bellingham vote Whatcom County is a Conservative bastion. But the votes say different.
2006 General Election (prelim.) Results
42nd Legislative District

Registration 74220
Ballots Cast 46919
Turnout (%) 63.22%

State Measures
Int 920 YES - 39.12%
Int 920 NO - 58.16%

Int 933 YES - 39.30%
Int 933 NO - 58.66%

Int 937 YES - 51.26%
Int 937 NO - 45.52%

HJR 4223 APPROVED - 75.68%
HJR 4223 REJECTED - 18.81%
U.S. Senate
Maria Cantwell (D) 52.21%
Mike McGavick (R) 44.08%
Bruce Guthrie 1.92%
Robin Adair 0.58%
Aaron Dixon 1.14%

U.S. Rep (WA-02)
Rick Larsen (D) 61.96%
Doug Roulstone (R) 37.24%

State Senate
Jesse Salomon (D) 46.23%
Dale Brandland (R) 52.40%

State Representative pos. 1
Jasper MacSlarrow (D) 44.48%
Doug Ericksen (R) 54.07%

State Representative pos. 2
Kelli Linville (D) 64.43%
Craig Mayberry (R) 30.86%

Supreme Court Justice (NP)
Susan Owens 46.99%
Stephen Johnson 37.04%

I-920 (to eliminate the inheritance tax) and I-933 (Special Rights for Property owners) were both rejected by wide margins, while I-937 (alternative energy) was approve by a solid majority.

Maria Cantwell got a solid majority. U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and State Rep. Kelli Linville were both reelected by wide margins.

Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens beat Johnson solidly. Stephen Johnsons Republican partisanship didn't do him any good here.

Brandland and Ericksen seem to have coasted in on the inertia of incumbency. They didn't receive the approval that Democratic incumbents did.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Why Blogging Counts

The Sept. 15th edition of PBS NOW had a feature that asked the question: "Left-leaning political bloggers - ...will they finally make political headway..." Watch it:
Blog The Vote
Are political blogs influencing elections?
And smile!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Whatcom County Still Counting Votes

In Whatcom County, the races for (42nd LD) State Senate and State House pos. 1 are too close to call with at least 20% of the ballots still to be counted. However, most of the election results are pretty clear (and just as I thought they'd turn out). I-920 and I-933 were resoundingly rejected. I-937 passed. A solid majority re-elected Maria Cantwell. Rep. Rick Larsen got two out of three votes, again! (Attention Pundits: WA-02 isn't a swing district anymore!) 42nd LD Representative Kelli Linville has overwhelming approval with 70% of the vote. Justice Susan Owens has over 60%, proving that Whatcom County voters aren't interested in special interest judicial candidates like Stephen Johnson.

Whatcom County, Washington - General Election Results
Last Updated: November 8, 2006 4:22 PM

Yes 38.35%
No 61.65%

Yes 36.88%
No 63.12%

Yes 56.39%
No 43.61%




Total 30,376 100.00%

Total 30,355 100.00%

Total 29,408 100.00%

[Source: Whatcom County Auditor]
The B'ham Herald has an article about the close races.
2 legislative races remain close
Brandland and Ericksen battle Dem challengers


Whatcom County still had two close legislative races as of Wednesday, one seemingly a surprise.

State Sen. Dale Brandland, RWhatcom County, was leading about 51 percent to 49 percent against Democratic challenger Jesse Salomon as of Wednesday afternoon — a race that seemed like a sure thing for Brandland before Election Day.

The other race, between State Rep. Doug Ericksen, RFerndale, and Democrat Jasper MacSlarrow had Ericksen ahead about 53 percent to 47 percent. ...
I found it puzzling that the reporter wrote:
The close race between Salomon and Brandland seems to be a twist from the norm, with Salomon receiving a strong turnout with help from his lengthy doorbelling campaign and out-of-county contributions that came to about half the money he raised.
About 75 percent of MacSlarrowÂ’s contributions came from out of the county, which included more than $42,000 from state Democrats to try and oust his opponent.
But he didn't find it worth mentioning that 87.5% of Brandland's and 72.5% of Ericksen's campaign funds came from out-of-county. What's up with that, Sam?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Day Final Push

Whatcom County Democrats came out Tuesday afternoon for a final push to get homeward bound commuters to vote.

the world is watching

Yesterday’s election gave me hope for the first time in a really long time. A lot of people I know worked really hard. A lot of people all across this country worked really hard. We should all give ourselves a big pat on the back. And after we breath and have some fun, we have to make sure we really do go in a different direction. And part of that is being accountable and taking responsibility for what has been done in our name.

Let’s just pretend these people were extra mistakey and not criminals.(and i believe the later.) Thousands of people have lost their lives; thousands more have lost limbs and any chance to live a “normal” life. Thousands of people have no infrastructure or security and live with tons of depleted uranium. They had no voice in the "fight them over there" decision. So far a great many Americans live in comfort. Many don’t. No sacrifice has been asked, tax cuts have been given to the already rich, and shopping is encouraged. They have spent all our available treasure, sold us off to the highest bidder, and my grandchildren’s credit cards are maxed out. I want to go forward and mend relations with the world community and go in the right direction. And I want these people held accountable. No more unofficial hearings in backrooms, without subpoena power, while the mainstream press looks the other way. The world is watching. Do we really believe we're going the wrong direction or is this lipstick on the pig?? If we do not step up we are in cahoots with them. We own this too and they have made a colossal mess.

and i loved this from Michael Moore......

November 8th, 2006
You did it! We did it! The impossible has happened: A majority of Americans have soundly and forcefully removed Bush's party from control of the House ofRepresentatives. And, sometime today perhaps, we may learn that the same miracle has happened in the Senate. Whatever the outcome, the American people have made two things crystal clear: End this war, and stop Mr. Bush from doing any more damage to this country we love. That is what this election was about. Nothing else. Just that. And it's a message that has sent shock waves throughout Washington -- and a note of hope around this troubled world.
Now the real work begins. Unless we stay on top of these Democrats to do the right thing, they will do what they've always done: Screw it up. Big Time. They helped Bush start this war, and now they should make amends. But let's take a day to rejoice and revel in a rare victory for our side -- the side that doesn't believe in unprovoked invasions of other countries. This is your day, my friends. You have worked hard for it. I can't tell you how proud I am to count all of you as part of the greater American mainstream we now occupy. Thank you for all the time you gave this week to get out the vote. Some of you have been at this since the large demonstrations of February 2003 when we tried to stop the war before it started. Only 10-20% of the country agreed with us at that time. Remember how lonely that was? Some people were even booed! Now, 60% of the country agrees with our position. They are us and we are them. What a nice, strange, hopeful feeling.

A woman, for the first time in our history, will be Speaker of the House. The attempt to ban all abortion in the conservative state of South Dakota was defeated. Laws to raise the minimum wage were passed. Democrats were elected to fill Tom DeLay's and Mark Foley's seats. Detroit's John Conyers, Jr. is going to be the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic governor of Michigan beat the CEO from Amway. The little township next to where I live in Michigan voted Democratic for the first time since... ever. And on and on and on. The good news will continue throughout today. Let's enjoy it. Savor it. And use it to get Congress to finally listen to the majority.

If you want to do one thing today, send an email or a letter
to both of your senators and your member of Congress and tell them, in no
uncertain terms, what this election means: End the war -- and don't let George
W. Bush get away with any more of his bright ideas.

Congratulations, again!
Now let's go find a spine for the Dems to do the job we've sent them there to do.

Yours in victory (for once!),
Michael Moore

Monday, November 06, 2006

freedom is on the march......

would the "fence" be to keep people out or...??????

“Mother, may I?”
Should you have to ask for permission from the government before you are allowed to get on a plane or cruise ship?
The Department of Homeland Security has proposed that airlines and cruise ships be required to get individual permission (”clearance”) from the DHS for each individual passenger on all flights to, from, or via the U.S. Unless the answer is “Yes” — if the answer is “no” or “maybe”, or if the DHS doesn’t answer at all — the airline wouldn’t be allowed to give you a boarding pass, or let you or your luggage on the plane or ship.


Riverbend on the Saddam verdict.....

once again the Iraqi people are used....and i think it is sooo important to remember we have been using the Iraqi people for a long time .....these are the same people(rumsfeld) who in 1983 were shaking hands with our guy saddam. this was one year after the crimes he is now convicted of committing in 1982........

........It’s not about the man- presidents come and go, governments come and go.
It’s the frustration of feeling like the whole country and every single Iraqi
inside and outside of Iraq is at the mercy of American politics. It is the rage
of feeling like a mere chess piece to be moved back and forth at will. It is the
aggravation of having a government so blind and uncaring about their peoples
needs that they don’t even feel like it’s necessary to go through the motions or
put up an act. And it's the deaths. The thousands of dead and dying, with Bush
sitting there smirking and lying about progress and winning in a country where
every single Iraqi outside of the Green Zone is losing.
Once again… The
timing of all of this is impeccable- two days before congressional elections.
And if you don’t see it, then I’m sorry, you’re stupid. Let’s see how many times
Bush milks this as a ‘success’ in his coming speeches.
full post

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Senator Cantwell Still Ahead.

Cantwell still holds big lead
GOP had hoped race for Senate would be close


WASHINGTON, D.C. — With less than a week to go before the election, Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell maintained her strong lead over Republican challenger Mike McGavick, holding a 16-point edge in the latest McClatchy- MSNBC poll.

Cantwell, who is seeking a second term, was leading McGavick among men, women, independents and virtually every age group, according to the poll. She was ahead in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties and was running only 6 points behind McGavick in normally conservative Eastern Washington, where she previously had run poorly.
As of Friday afternoon, 34% of Whatcom County's Voters have mailed in their ballots. (source)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Senators Cantwell, Murray and Rep. Inslee Visit Bellingham

Our local candidates, Jasper MacSlarrow (State House 42nd pos. 1), incumbent State Representative Kelli Linville (State House 42nd pos. 2) and Jesse Salomon (State Senate 42nd LD) applaud Representative Jay Inslee as he talks about The New Apollo Energy ProjectSenator Patty Murray introduces Senator Maria Cantwell.
The turnout was great. The Energy is high among Whatcom County Democrats and a little Saturday morning wind and rain wasn't going to keep anybody away. For many this event was just a morning warm up for working the phone banks.

Republican's Give Nukes to Terrorists

Democrats condemn posting of Iraq arms data Accuse the GOP of endangering national security

By Bryan Bender and Bryan McGonigle, Globe Correspondent

| November 4, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Top Democrats and weapons specialists yesterday assailed the government's decision to publish details about Iraq's defunct weapons programs on the Internet, accusing the White House and the Republican Party of endangering national security to try to convince the public that Saddam Hussein resumed building an atomic bomb after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

fashion a nuclear weapon. Senior intelligence officials and even the US government's senior weapons investigator in Iraq warned Washington about releasing the data, but the Republican-led Congress pressured the Bush administration by approving a measure that required thousands of those documents to be made public. ...(more)

And if that's isn't bad enough, an editorial that will appear in the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times, and Marine Corps Times says that Rumsfeld should go because American Military leaders don't trust him.

Papers sold to military: ‘Rumsfeld must go’
Editorial comes days after Bush affirms defense secretary’s job security

MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 9:38 p.m. PT Nov 3, 2006

Just days after President Bush publicly affirmed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's job security through the end of his term, a family of publications catering to the military will publish an editorial calling for the defense secretary's removal.

The editorial, released to NBC News on Friday ahead of its Monday publication date, stated, "It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads." ...(more)

When it comes to National security, the Republicans have been all talk.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

new directions

there is an enormous amount of work to be done......just trying to clean up the mess that's been made is daunting. but the greedy, criminal, bullies who are stealing our treasure can not say the Dems have no ideas.....Nancy Pelosi's first 100 hours look like a running start!

Iraq - Slip, Slip, Slippin' Away