Monday, November 29, 2004

NTodd Finally Admits Insanity

Seriously, Mr. Pritsky has decided that his relationship with Stef and his sanity are more important that easy money and security. He has decided to try the "live your dream" route. More power to him. In today's uncertain world it is the people like him that will make the difference between winning and losing. People willing to invest in the dream are the people from which salvation are born.

Iraq Casualties

Iraq Coalition Casualties

1249 Dead

Please do not forget that our brothers and sisters are dying daily for nothing. They are doing what they are supposed to do but is in the wrong war in the wrong place.
The only consolation is that George W. Bush has secured his place in Hell. (If it exists).

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Fallenmonk is back

Well the trip to the hills for Thanksgiving and the reluctant removal from all internet access is now over. Back to the grind for two very hard weeks of clients interface as the client tests our product and makes the go forward decision. Then we will wing to Derbyshire in the UK for the Xmas holidays. I hope everyone had a fine holiday and is ready for the necessary cinnamon water and lettuce regimen.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Down and Down

James Wolcott is, as usual, focusing our attention properly on the reality of where we are with respect to Iraq and the likely future. The following quote from Martin van Creveld of Hebrew University, opening his post, says it all.

"...[He] who fights against the weak--and the rag-tag Iraqi militias are very weak indeed--and loses, loses. He who fights against the weak and wins also loses. To kill an opponent who is much weaker than yourself is unnecessary and therefore cruel; to let that opponent kill you is unnecessary and therefore foolish. As Vietnam and countless other cases prove, no armed force however rich, however powerful, however advanced, and however well motivated is immune to this dilemma. The end result is always disintegration and defeat; if U.S. troops in Iraq have not yet started fragging their officers, the suicide rate among them is already exceptionally high. That is why the present adventure will almost certainly end as the previous one did. Namely, with the last U.S. troops fleeing the country while hanging on to their helicopters' skids."

Another must read.

Dollar Woe

via Kos

The US currency came under renewed selling pressure the moment it became clear George W. Bush had been re-elected president. In the two and a half weeks since then, the alue of the dollar has fallen 2.5 percent against the euro and 1.9 percent against the yen. The falls represent an acceleration of the dollar's steady decline since 2002. Since the start of that year, the greenback has fallen 32 percent against the euro and 21 percent against the yen. . . .

Darek Halpenny, currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, points to a "very grim" outlook for the dollar in the near term. "With the foreign exchange market now focused entirely on the problem of the US budget deficit and current account deficits, there is a real risk that dollar selling becomes a crisis of confidence," he says. . . .

There is a fear in the currency markets that the dollar's decline, which has been gradual and orderly so far, will turn into a rout.

Bob Herbert - One Rational Voice

Thanks goodness Bob Herbert hasn't given up yet. With Paul Krugman on sabbatical we are short sane people. Here is a snip of this latest in the NY Times.

"As I watch the disastrous consequences of the Bush policies unfold - not just in Iraq, but here at home as well - I am struck by the immaturity of this administration, whatever the ages of the officials involved. It's as if the children have taken over and sent the adults packing. The counsel of wiser heads, like George H. W. Bush, or Brent Scowcroft, or Colin Powell, is not needed and not wanted.

Some of the world's most important decisions - often, decisions of life and death - have been left to those who are less competent and less experienced, to men and women who are deficient in such qualities as risk perception and comprehension of future consequences, who are reckless and dangerously susceptible to magical thinking and the ideological pressure of their peers.

I look at the catastrophe in Iraq, the fiscal debacle here at home, the extent to which loyalty trumps competence at the highest levels of government, the absence of a coherent vision of the future for the U.S. and the world, and I wonder, with a sense of deep sadness, where the adults have gone."

Thursday, November 18, 2004


I shamelessly quoted the whole thing:
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Iraq Update

Georgie's body count: 1,212 total U.S. deaths, with November clocking in at 91.

Don't take your eyes off what is important.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Calling Cards are Needed

Via Steve Gilliard and Makinglightand the DU
The number ONE request at Walter Reed hospital is phone cards. Because the priority of our government is to continue tax cuts for the likes of Paris Hilton, the government doesn’t pay LD phone charges and these guys, many of them amputees, are rationing their calls home.
Many will be there throughout the holidays.

Remember that most are from poor families. It is disgusting that they cannot keep in touch with family after what they have been asked to sacrifice for BushCo; especially this time of year.

Support the troops—cuz BushCo doesn’t. Send phone cards of any amount to:
Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

They say they need an “endless” supply of these—any amount even $5 is greatly appreciated.

You can do something!

Bush has now murdered 1,203 Americans

That's 1,203 U.S. men and women killed in Iraq since Bush decided to illegally invade the country. November's count is now up to 82, tied with November 2003 for second-deadliest month, and rapidly approaching April 2004 high water mark of 135.
Don't forget the estimated 25,000 wounded/maimed/crippled Americans and the estimated 100,000 Iraqi's murdered.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

So Low!

The day after the election, the British Daily Mirror asked plaintively, “How can 59,017,382 people be so dumb?” Not to be outdone, Russia’s Pravda asserted that “America was betrayed and murdered on Nov. 2, 2004. Also killed during this time of madness were the following virtues: truth, justice, integrity, freedom, compassion, brotherhood, tolerance, faith, hope, charity, peace, and respect for other cultures and nations.”

How bad is it when the Russians feel sorry for us?

Is That a Light at the end of the Tunnel?

Over at BuzzFlash > Maureen Farrell > has another great piece that starts with a quote from The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy. The entire article is a must read. Maureen does her usual splendid job. The "bottom line" is that there is a clear divide of ideology in America and it is not going to go away during the next four years. It will get worse. Maureen presents four possibilitie...Another Civil War, World War IV, Another American Revolution or a Fascist State. It is not a pleasant area to ponder.

"Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation, and empire. Yet this time of trouble will bring seeds of social rebirth. Americans will share a regret about recent mistakes -- and a resolute new consensus about what to do. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake." -- From the Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy, by William Strauss and Neil Howe, 1997

Strauss and Howe conclude:
"Thus might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse -- or glory, " Strauss and Howe concluded. "The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed. Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition."

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Adorned By A Moroan

H.L. Mencken had the way of it.
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and
more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious
day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Down With Fancy Book Learnin'

Mark Morford is on today

Down With Fancy Book Learnin' / What's it mean that the big cities and college towns of America all voted blue?

A snip
"Because there remains this astonishing and yet ever present fact: all the major cities of America, the great cultural centers and the places with the most concentrated populations and the most extraordinary restaurants and the highest percentage of college graduates and the most progressive laws and the truest sense of the arts and food and sex and music and dance and money and technology and lubricant and drugs and porn and love and fashion and spirituality, well, it seems they all voted blue.

True. From terrorism-ravaged New York to Botox-ravaged Los Angeles, Chicago to San Francisco, Philly to Portland, Seattle and Miami and Boston and Minneapolis and Detroit -- blue as the sky, blue as the Danube, blue as the color of your soul-crushin' wine-slammin' I-need-a-bath-and-an-emetic postelection melancholy .... "

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

There is a must read interview with John Perkins on the reality of American business and how it relates to the current situation in Iraq. I for one am buying the book.

Democracy Now! | Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions

Here's an interesting snippet:
JOHN PERKINS: Yeah, it was a tongue-in-cheek term that we called ourselves. Officially, I was a chief economist. We called ourselves e.h.m.'s. It was tongue-in-cheek. It was like, nobody will believe us if we say this, you know? And, so, we went to Saudi Arabia in the early seventies. We knew Saudi Arabia was the key to dropping our dependency, or to controlling the situation. And we worked out this deal whereby the Royal House of Saud agreed to send most of their petro-dollars back to the United States and invest them in U.S. government securities. The Treasury Department would use the interest from these securities to hire U.S. companies to build Saudi Arabia–new cities, new infrastructure–which we’ve done. And the House of Saud would agree to maintain the price of oil within acceptable limits to us, which they’ve done all of these years, and we would agree to keep the House of Saud in power as long as they did this, which we’ve done, which is one of the reasons we went to war with Iraq in the first place. And in Iraq we tried to implement the same policy that was so successful in Saudi Arabia, but Saddam Hussein didn't buy. When the economic hit men fail in this scenario, the next step is what we call the jackals. Jackals are C.I.A.-sanctioned people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If that doesn't work, they perform assassinations. or try to. In the case of Iraq, they weren't able to get through to Saddam Hussein. He had -- His bodyguards were too good. He had doubles. They couldn’t get through to him. So the third line of defense, if the economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill, which is what we’ve obviously done in Iraq.

The debt trap

There is an excellent post from Steve Gilliard on the debt trap. Worth a read.

"Debt has become a part of who we are. ...That spoiled kid in the grocery store. 'I want it. I want it. I deserve it because I breathe air.'"
Dave Ramsey

Monday, November 08, 2004

Rocking Rant - Fired UP!

Steve Gilliard has posted the rant of the week, month or year by mg_65. It is, by far, one of the best post-election pieces so far. Here are a few highlights but the whole thing is a must read.

"They think Bush is a godly man. They never wonder why the Republicans never meet their promises to them. They don't believe in global warming. They do believe in the "Flypaper Strategy." They believe in one paragraph out of Leviticus, but they ignore the rest of the Bible . They let themselves get scammed over and over by robber barons and religious hucksters. And apparently, although I find this hard to conceive of, they believe that the media is liberal. They're fucking stupid. They've been calling me an elitist snob for many years now. Fine. I'm an elitist snob, fuck you very much, you mouth-breathing bloodthirsty fucktard bigot. I work to educate myself. I spend an inordinate amount of time, energy and money to get a more or less accurate idea of what's going on around me."
"You know how to hide behind trees and shoot Redcoats. You know how to run an underground railway and get women the right to vote and you know how to boycott cotton and sit at a lunch counter in Alabama. You know this: you've marched and protested and been beaten and you've gone hungry and sent money and you gave us everything we have."

But they don't want any of it. They hate you for it. They feel oppressed by it.

Your kindness, your warm welcome, your generosity, your concern, your love and passion--it will never work. These people hate you. Understand? They HATE you. They want you dead. All your work, your energy, your wisdom, your experience--it means nothing to them and it reads as weakness. They see your open, extended hand, and they feel oppressed by it-- it reads as scolding, as hectoring, as judgment, as oppression. They think you're going to take away their children and their guns and their Bible that they never read and teach them evolution and force them to get gay married. They really, really believe that, even as they take you for all you're worth. In fact, this belief of theirs is what gives meaning to their sordid, hateful, fearful, resentful lives. They will never change. Your kindness and generosity only enables them. They'll take what we've got--our money, our art, our science, our technology, our wisdom, our humor, our compassion--and they'll spit on us and calls us communist traitor faggots. Time to let go. They hate us. It's time we realize that.

Please GO READ IT ALL. This guy is on fire. UPDATE: This GIRL is on fire

This is what I should have written the other day. Instead, I tried to rationalize how we could do better at teaching the reds and framing the issues. What a doofus! This guy is right. We need to seriously think about how we are going to deal with this and, so far, being nice hasn't worked.

Thanks for sharing,Steve.

Matt has an idea

Matt Yglesias is correct. Now that the Repugs own the government for all intents and purposes we need to take advantage of it to reshape the public impression of the Democrats and Progressives.

"The Democrats need to do what they can to take advantage of their status as a marginalized opposition party. They need to make the Republicans own the IRS, the tax code, and everything else about the government that's hateful or inefficient. It is, after all, the Republicans' government and the Republicans' tax code. While Bush is dragging his feet, appointing commissions, and trying to outsource the work to them, Democrats need to produce their own tax reform plan -- a plan that, since it has no chance of being implemented, can afford to be utopian and not get mucked up by business interests or other petty realities of actual governance -- and flog it mercilessly. The Republicans have all the power, so the Democrats must make them the party of government, and make themselves the party of reform. There are plenty of liberal economists around Washington and in academia who are more than capable of devising a reasonable, progressive tax reform plan much more quickly than the GOP is willing or able to move."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Moving Ahead

Bill Clinton understands exactly why John Kerry wasn’t elected. In a speech to the Urban Land Institute at the New York Hilton, he describes what is wrong with his party.

Clinton attributed Kerry's loss to the Democrats' failure to combat how they were portrayed by Republicans to small-town America.

"If we let people believe that our party doesn't believe in faith and family, doesn't believe in work and freedom, that's our fault," he said.

Via the New York Post
To move ourselves forward and counter the poison that has become associated with the label “Liberal” we need to remind people daily of what is important for this country in real terms that mean something to them in terms that impact their daily lives. We cannot afford to allow the conservative right to control the dialogue. We need to become the party that recognizes ordinary people and what they contribute to society, who do what they're supposed to be doing. We need to become the party that is recognized as the one who protects them from those who don't appreciate their efforts. The Democratic Party needs to be associated with making their lives easier and more rewarding and not the party that continually makes their struggle harder.
Nearly 60 million people voted for George W. Bush because they think he represents their values and that John Kerry, Democrats and you don't. If we can convince them that they are deceived and prove them wrong we’ll be the majority party again.
We need to start talking about the truly important issues that impact Americans daily. These are the pocketbook issues. Remember Bill Clinton's commitment to help people who "work hard and play by the rules"? We need to explain the progressive/Democratic positions on taxes and labor as moral issues not simply economic ones. Higher minimum wages are not a tax on small business but proper rewards for hard work. The estate tax helps wealthy people get wealthier without any work—it’s free and on the backs of those who are working hard everyday. The average American needs to understand in their gut, instinctively, that relaxing oversight of corporations allows them to evade taxes, deceive small investors, and raid pension funds—all without any work.
We need to borrow a phrase from Robert Heinlein, “TANSTAAFL”- “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”. We need to remind the average American that if America is going to be a success for everyone, then everyone has to work hard to make it so. Just like all the average households in America there are bills to be paid that won’t wait. Everyone in the house has a responsibility to pull a share of the work commensurate with their ability to do so that is also balanced fairly with the reward received. The gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country is approaching that of a third world country. We need to constantly reinforce the fact that the wealthy in this country, by virtue of being able to participate in the country, have a proportional responsibility to the rest of the country.
The minute we start talking this way we are going to be accused of waging class warfare. Here there is the danger of letting the right frame the issue in their terms. It is warfare, but it is a culture war not class warfare. It is war between the people in this country who are working hard, obeying the laws and paying a disproportionate share of the taxes against those who getting wealthier day by day with an unfair share of the tax burden. This is a war between those millions of Americans with no healthcare and those with no cares whatsoever. It is a war against the fat cats in the Hummers by those working two minimum wage jobs that are still below the poverty line. It is a war against the multimillion dollar a year CEO who is moving good paying jobs overseas. We must frame the debate as a culture war between the people and institutions that are taking full advantage and more of our great country and those that are carrying the bulk of the load and yet are slipping further and further behind.
There has been much discussion of the vast impact of the evangelical vote during this election. Yes, there were a lot of religious people voting but this is only a problem if we let it be. Most of these religious voters are Jane and Joe America. They are socially conservative blue-collar workers that don't actually understand the true impact of a free market. They believe in the value of hard work and a fair wage. The Conservative right has framed the free market as consistent with the Judeo-Christian work ethic. They have defined rampant capitalism as good for the everyday citizen. We need to show them how the unbridled free market and un-tempered capitalism betrays the work ethic and pushes everybody but the owners down. We have let the conservatives frame us as an enemy of the free market and now we need to take this ball and run with it by making sure Joe and Jane America understand what the free market means to them.
Republicans have painted the Democrats as weak, we aren’t convincing as toughs. We need to reverse this perception by formulating a tough policy on terrorism while at the same time defining ourselves as the party with a clear concept of right and wrong. We need to convince voters that we are tough enough to do the job. We need to avoid politically convenient rhetoric and call tyrants for what they are, oil or no oil and do our best, every time, to defend the little guy against the bully. We need to convince America that we will be tough when our good sense and desire for peaceful solutions fail.
We need to believe in this message and use it continually. At every opportunity, when a Republican accuses you of failing to protect us from terrorists, you need to point out that they’re the ones who have gotten us distracted in Iraq, leaving us virtually helpless against the real terrorists. Remind the Bush supporters that 9/11 happened on his watch, even after he was warned. When a Republican accuses you of class warfare you need to point out that his party is one that is creating huge deficits and burdening society for years to come. This is a burden that is to be borne by the working classes not by the rich. When a Republican accuses you of being unpatriotic remind him of who is shedding the blood in Iraq. Remind the Republicans that when they betray troops through poor planning and false reasons for war it is the working class that will carry the load. Remind the Republicans that cutting taxes for the rich while at war and already in deficit is fiscally stupid and that our children will bear the burden. These should be the Democratic issues and we should be relentless in reciting them. Remind Bush supporters that the soldiers from poor families are dying while fat cat corporations skim millions from the war. This message needs to be consistent if it is going to resonate and if it is to resonate it should always have a harmonic message and underlying theme. The message always has to resonate with responsibility.
The favorite Democratic issues like energy independence, health care, education, the environment, and the deficit can be amplified into a very powerful theme if they are brought together within a unifying message. Take responsibility for your community and your fellow man, make sure he has a fair chance to make it. Take responsibility and clean up your mess and care for the environment. Take responsibility and take care for your children and make sure all children are cared for. Be responsible and live within your means don’t spend what you don’t have. All of the overriding issues can be related to responsibility. Bush talks about an “ownership” society so let’s take that and run with it. Let’s make sure that he and his “own” what they have created.
Finally we need to talk about a messenger. John Kerry, in spite of having many great qualities, was missing one key ingredient. He had the unfortunate luck of being born into a wealthy northern family. This was not a differentiator from Bush. The Republican machine had spent years creating the fake cowboy, common guy image for Bush. Ignore the fact that in reality he is spoiled rich kid and a born failure. The propaganda connected him to the common man. Currently, there is only one Democrat that fills the bill as a standard bearer and who understands this message naturally -- John Edwards. He doesn’t have to pretend he is a child of the common man – he is one. He naturally frames every issue with responsibility and values. He argued during the presidential primaries that Republicans were favoring unearned wealth over work. He grew up with the reality of haves and have nots. He can legitimately point to how Republican tax policies are favoring the wealthy and hurting the working man. He can point to the stagnant minimum wage and, with conviction, show how it is hurting this country. I know it is early to begin to discuss 2008 but it is not too early to begin to lay the tracks to a change in leadership.

Switching Sides

Guest blogger Thumb over at Digsby's has it figured out. Why spend all this energy and effort. The Right has made it so easy to blend in that it is a shame to miss the chance. A little housekeeping is all that is required.

Posted in its entirety from Hullabaloo

If you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em.

So the people voting for Bush told exit pollers that moral values are their #1 issue.

Because the Republicans are obviously superior in both numbers and cause, and their values oriented agenda should no doubt be a boon to human kind, there's obviously only one thing left to do at this point. Convert. Therefor, in an act of supreme solidarity to our new national conservative alliance and their emphasis on values, I would just like to say, they’re right. I’m ready to sign up.

But first I need to declare that I too no longer care about losing millions of American jobs. I too no longer care about health care. Or social security. I also no longer care about education. I no longer care what happens to the poor, the elderly or the millions of American children growing up in poverty, despair and hopelessness. I no longer care that the US ranks a lowly 41st in infant mortality. I no longer care that the gap between rich and poor is approaching third world levels. I no longer care that Fortune 500 corporations can avoid paying taxes by opening an offshore mailbox and I no longer care that the working class will be forced pick up the difference. I no longer care that we've taken a record fiscal surplus and in three years turned it into the largest debt in the history of our country or that it will be our children, and their children, that will have to pay it back. I also no longer care how many Americans die at the hands of terrorists (as long as they're dying over there and not here at home) or how many thousands of foreign civilians die in the course of our projecting American global hegemony. I no longer care what the rest of the world thinks of America, as long as they know to fear us. I no longer care about the science of potential medical breakthroughs nor do I care about slowing the spread of AIDS nor whether we have sufficient supplies of safe vaccines. I no longer care that the number of abortions is on the rise (though I’ll pound my chest and pretend that I do) because I no longer care about birth control, sex education or family planning. I no longer care about our environment and whether we're allowing industries to poison our water, our air and ultimately our food supply, and I no longer care about the consequences of releasing massive amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and its likelihood of accelerating global warming. I no longer care that our Bill of Rights, once enshrined to protect our personal freedoms and liberty, is being stripped down or that our 200 year old Constitutional protections are being traded for a false sense of security.

So what do I share with our new majority as my #1 concern? Values. I care about moral values.

Now that I’ve completed the switch to the other side moral values is all that matters to me. Moral values. Yes sir, I care enough that sufficient numbers of people share these moral values to make sure that we elect politicians that will put these moral values into law (even if it takes rigging the new electronic voting machines) and that those politicians in turn appoint judges guaranteed to ensure that everyone else is forced to live by these same moral values. Now some of you remaining Unbelievers may ask, "But if everything you no longer care about isn’t a moral value, what are your moral values?" Easy. The single most important moral value, overriding all other concerns, is that two people of the same sex are blocked from achieving secular legal recognitions that could in any way be similar to that enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Health and survivor benefits? Forget it. Employment protection? Come on. Inheritance rights? No way. Hospital visitation? Get real. Adoption? GOD FORBID!

You few, final remaining Democrats, moderates, greens and libertarians really need to get onboard the bandwagon. This new stripped down moral value is so easy I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself earlier. Effortless morality. That’s the ticket. It’s like a gift from God. Now let’s jam it down everyone’s throat.

And God bless the New American Morality.

The Lost Page

I guess Bush and all of his supporters all have one think in common. All of them are missing a page from their Bibles. It's the one that has Mattherw 6 1- 6. (Part of the Sermon on the Mount)

1: Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2: "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3: But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4: so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
5: "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6: But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (from the Revised Standard version)

If you are having difficulty here let me translate it for you-- Bush and his supporters are EXACTLY the people Jesus was warning about!

Feeling Safer?

American intelligence agencies have tripled their formal estimate of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile systems believed to be at large worldwide, since determining that at least 4,000 of the weapons in Iraq's prewar arsenals cannot be accounted for, government officials said Friday. link

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Reach Out?

Today Bush said:

"I will reach out to every one who shares our goals."

For those of you asleep - Translation: My way or the highway.
Alternate translation: You're either with us or against us.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Something Anyway!

Via First Draft

David Corn finds something to smile about:
"The good news: America is a divided nation. Despite the pundit hand-wringing over this fact, it is a positive thing. Nearly--nearly--half of the electorate rejected Bush's leadership, his agenda, his priorities, his falsehoods. From Eminem to the chairman of Bank of America to 48 Nobel laureates to gangbangers who joined anti-Bush get-out-the-vote efforts in swing states. Nearly half of the voting public concluded that Bush had caused the deaths of over 1,100 American GIs and literally countless Iraqis (maybe 100,000) for no compelling reason. Nearly half saw the emperor buck naked and butt ugly. Nearly half said no to his rash actions and dishonest justifications. Nearly half realized that Bush had misrepresented the war in Iraq as a crucial part of the effort against al Qaeda and Islamic jihadism. Nearly half desired better and more honest leadership. Nearly half knew that Bush has led the country astray. Other good news: Second-term presidents often hit the skids. The last three second- terms were marked by scandal (Watergate, Iran-contra, Monicagate). And as top officials sprint through the revolving door to snag high-paying jobs (while their contacts are fresh), the job of running the government during the second administration often falls to the B Team."


Used Car Salesmen?

Billmon has a quote from Hunter S. Thompson that seems appropriate.

"This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it -- that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."

from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 11/72

Kerry's Conceded - Now What?

Well, I've just heard that Kerry has conceded. I was hoping against hope that Ohio would magically turn this thing around. Kerry's folks must have looked at the numbers and decided that for the sake of unity to go ahead and fold the hand. It’s depressing, though not because Kerry lost, and while that is a blow, but because the Republicans have enlarged their majorities in both the House and the Senate. We did get through 8 years of Ronald Reagan, though we did that with a Democratic Congress. With Bush the Democrats have no control, other than filibuster, and Republicans are going to run rampant. The next 4 years will show the world what radical conservatism is all about. Speaking of the world--Sorry guys --we tried.
OK--Now what? Reality-Based right? I was very optimistic going into this election. I had hopes that someone a little more to the center would have the opportunity to select almost half of the Supreme Court. I can pretty much imagine that Roe vs. Wade is out of here. I hope all the women who voted for Bush realize that they probably just handed the right to decide about their future and how their body is used to a bunch of senile old men. I am probably guilty of getting to much of my information from left leaning sources which is not necessarily healthy for your point of view. My disdain for CNN and Fox and what the sheep were seeing on the TV didn't provide the warning I should have taken. It is really hard for me to grasp that the majority of the people in this country liked the last four years so much that they want more. I guess fear is a better campaign strategy than I imagined seeing as how it managed to completely discount the incompetence and failure. I am disappointed that the majority of Americans are willing to continue to waste the lives of our young men and women in the Middle East on an absolutely unmitigated disaster. Not to mention the wasted treasure that has so many more uses here at home and around the world.
What about the Democratic Party? Why did we lose this election? I don't think we lost it on the big issues of war or the economy but on the wedge issues of gay marriage and fear of terrorism. Karl Rove was right to play on the fear and prejudice of what appears to be the majority of Americans. I think we had the best candidate in John Kerry. His arguments for the central issues and rational thought didn't connect and were not as effective as the fear. We need to recognize that the Republican Party has spent 40+ years building their machine. It was rather wide-eyed for us to believe that we could match it in four years. We couldn't turn around the linguistic changes they have managed such as liberal equals communist and social issues equals welfare. They have control of most of the media both TV and all of radio. We only have Air America and the Daily Show.
We lost this election, not for like of trying, and it hurts. Bush and company will try and push the world closer to its end in the next four years it probably won’t end. They will probably control the Supreme Court for the next generation or so and it will be bad. We have to re-group and re-think our strategies. We have to work at countering the machine. Our efforts in the last four years were an attempt to prevent some very bad things from happening to our country and the world. While we have lost this battle it doesn't change how important it is to continue to try and change the course or how badly we need to win the war. I don't think the money that I poured into John Kerry's campaign was wasted and I think it taught us some important things. This is not a small battle and it won't be won in one election. It is a battle to change the way people think in this country. It is a lot like the people who flock to Wal-Mart for that extra few cents savings. They aren't thinking in the big picture or the long term about how the low wage jobs they are encouraging are hurting their neighbors and destroying their communities. They don't realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch and that the pennies they are saving are coming out of their pockets somewhere else and some other time. We have to begin to teach people to think and be very cynical about what they are told by the media in this country. Take a deep breath and look forward to the next challenge.

Some Hope

Bush is currently leading in Ohio by 136,221 If there are 250,000 provisional ballots outstanding. The highest number I've seen.

And 90% of those ballots are good, as they were in 2000. That leaves 225,000 votes.
Kos gives us Hope

If 85% of those ballots prove to be for Kerry, about the number that Gore got in 2000. That leaves us with 191,250, giving us a lead of 55,029.

If there are only 200,000 provisionals, following the same calculation would leave us with a lead of 16,779.

If the provisional ballots are only 175,000 that leaves us with a deficit of -2,346 that will leaves us in a position to get an automatic statewide recount.

Or, to put it another way, an automatic recount is triggered by a margin of 0.25% or between 13,000 and 16,000 votes.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Ezra Klein on Why Kerry

Ezra over at Pandagon has an excellent piece laying out his thoughts in support of John Kerry. There are some original thoughts here that are quite compelling. The whole thing deserves to be read. Here is one of the best paragraphs and the most lucent condemnation of Bush I have seen.

"The President of the United States of America is one of the few men in the world temporally unmoored. He can reach beyond the present, his actions shape the future and, for the future, come to define the past. Some presidents become figures of myth, like Lincoln and Kennedy and Washington, while others become legends, like FDR and Reagan. Some fade into the background, either unable to match their station or placed in a period calm enough to repel history. But Bush, a man who didn't grow up desiring the presidency and whose motivations were familial and manipulated, entered an office expecting to simply do a job, maybe even bring a radical viewpoint to it. But no more than that. And so, faced with a transformative moment that immediately created unprecedented unity and resolve, he resolved to send us shopping and make congressional gains. He failed history, he failed a spectacular moment, and he did so because he was never prepared to be the President of the United States of America, all George wanted to be was CEO."

Faux says Kerry

The final Fox News poll -- calling Saturday and Sunday has Kerry over Bush 48% to 46% among likely voters.

Among registered voters it's Kerry 47%, Bush 45%. Among those who've already voted, it's Kerry 48%, Bush 43%.

If the Faux news people are polling for Kerry....

Think Positive

John Marshall has some insider views on the election and he is positive. Me too!
"After talking to friends whose opinions I trust, I *think* it really is that good. And the sizeable Kerry margins among early voters in Iowa and Florida lend support to that judgment. But who knows? I don't know. And they don't either. No one really does. But if the Dems' ground operation is really as good as their people say it is, I think Kerry will win tomorrow. If he doesn't, we'll know they seriously over-estimated it's strength. "

When Kerry Wins

No I am not counting the chickens before the eggs but I am tryingto remain positive. The Bull Moose has some insider comments on what will happen when Kerry does win.

In short, if Kerry wins, Republicans will move on Wednesday to delegitimize his victory. The Moose is not necessarily referring to ballot challenges, although that will likely occur. What the Moose is referring to is an attempt by the vast right wing conspiracy (take the Moose's word - he was there and Hillary was exactly right about this term) will seek to strangle the Democratic Presidency in its crib.

If Republicans control Congress, expect Delay and company to declare that they will fight to the death to preserve the Bush tax cuts and stymie the Kerry "liberal" agenda. The right-wing talking heads will question whether the troops will willingly serve under a "traitor". For a model of what to expect from the right, just review the early days of the Clinton Administration - but now the G.O.P. controls Congress and a significant cable media outlet. The swift boat attacks will seem like a day at the beach compared to the conservative onslaught following a Kerry victory

Days of Shame

Bob Herbert in the New York Times
Overseas, our troops are being mauled in the long dark night of Iraq - a war with no end in sight that has already claimed the lives of more than 1,100 American troops and thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of innocent Iraqis.

At home, the party of the sitting president is systematically stomping on the right of black Americans to vote, a vile and racist practice that makes a mockery of the president's claim to favor real democracy anywhere.

This will never be seen as a shining moment in U.S. history.

The Rule of Law Wins One.

A federal judge issued an order early Monday barring political party challengers from polling places throughout Ohio during Tuesday's election.
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott found that the application of Ohio's statute allowing challengers at polling places is unconstitutional.

She said the presence of challengers inexperienced in the electoral process questioning voters about their eligibility would impede voting.

Dlott ruled on a lawsuit by a black Cincinnati couple who said Republican plans to deploy challengers to largely black precincts in Hamilton County was meant to intimidate and block black voters.