Monday, January 30, 2006


It's Just Not Logical

According to the AP, tomorrow night's SOTU speech is going to focus on energy.

Excuse me, but isn't it a little late for Bush to be pretending to be energy concious? When oil companies are posting record profits, it just seems a little disingenuous to me that a former oil man is going to be touting alternative energy sources. After all, he let ExxonMobil decide the direction of his environmental policy, so why should we believe that he's going to do anything that will steer money away from them? It's not logical.

While I do plan to watch the SOTU address, I don't plan on believing much of it. Over the years I've learned to believe very little of what Bush says and even less of what he promises. (Remember the $15 billion he pledged to fight AIDS in Africa a few years back? As it turns out, that money had already been allocated by the Clinton administration years before.) If I can count on one thing from Georgieboy, it'll be that this speech will be no different than any of his past speeches - full of empty promises, empty rhetoric, and empty logic. I guess you can say he's consistent.

Friday, January 27, 2006


YOTD - Day 27 (We're Winning!)

The White House likes to tell us that they don't follow the polls, but all you have to do is watch their behavior and you can tell that they're lying. Every time the public opinion turns sour, they trot out their trick pony to try and woo the masses. Hence the reason we've been seeing so much of Georgieboy's mug on the television lately. Not surprisingly, they remind me of an alcoholic uncle who claims he's quit drinking but it's an obvious lie because you can smell the liquor on his breath.

If you think the White House doesn't follow the polls, ask yourself this: Why do they go to such great lengths to protect their little performing monkey? Why do they pre-screen audience members (other than for safety reasons)? Why do they set up "free speech zones" miles away from his appearance sites? They do it because they son't want public opinion to turn sour. They don't want their precious little Georgieboy to look bad. In other words, they're concerned about public opinion.

So with that in mind, I'm sure the White House must be shitting themselves over the latest poll numbers (PDF). Let's take a look, shall we?

Little by little, the American people are starting to wake up. They're shaking off the doldrums, they're pulling their heads out of the sand, and they're seeing the Bush administration for what it is: INCOMPETENT. I can't wait for November.

Monday, January 23, 2006



Once again, the White House is revving up its high-powered PR machine and sending Georgieboy out to make excuses for their illegal deed. This time around it's the NSA wiretapping. georgia10, over at DailyKos, does a fine job of debunking the administration talking points, but tonight I want to talk about something else.

As usual, the traditional media outlets have picked up the administration's water and are running with it. Check out this comment from CNN:

Aside from the grammatical error, I'm left to say "What the...? Not prescreened? Get the fuck out of here!"

Like many things this administration does, there's what they say and then there's reality. Let's take a closer look at what they don't consider to be prescreened.

Back on September 16, 2002, George W. Bush gave a speech/held a photo-op at Sears Manufacturing Co. in Davenport, IA. It just so happens that my father is an engineer there and he told me about the White House's non-prescreening process. For starters, everyone in the plant had to undergo a background check. If anything out of the ordinary was found, those employees were asked to not be in attendance on the day of Bush's visit. Considering the position the man is in, this isn't really out of the ordinary. However, for those who were allowed to stay for the bullshit er..I mean, speech, they were instructed that they could not talk, make noise, or ask questions. They could, however, applaud, cheer, or laugh. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't believe that this audience wasn't prescreened. While the questions may not have been known in advance, the audience had been sifted for riff-raff and instructed on how to behave. To say he was on pretty safe ground would be an understatement.

So let's have a look at some of these not "prescreened" questions, shall we?

Wow! Out of thirteen questions there were only two legitimate ones - one about education and the other about nuclear weapons - both of which he completely side-stepped. The remaining eleven were questions that played right into the party's talking points or were just unabashed ass kissing. So once again, your going to have to excuse me if I don't take the administration at its word when they say things aren't prescreened because maybe the questions weren't, but the ones asking the questions definitely were. It's like I said, there's what the administration says and then there's reality. One day soon, I hope the traditional media will join the rest of us here in the reality-based community.

Friday, January 20, 2006


YOTD - Day 20

Are the wheels beginning to come off of the Republican wagon? It's beginning to look that way.

Five years to the day after this schmuck took office, I, along with about 60,000,000 other people would just like to say "WE FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!!!!!"

I don't feel sorry for the Republicans who were boondoggled by this administration and are now feeling the pangs of buyer's remorse. No, I feel sorry for America, because it's going to take years to undo the damage done by these guys. We need to get started as soon as possible. I say, let's start it this November. Anyone want to join me?

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Oh, How Times Have Changed

Remember when a message from bin Laden would be enough to raise the terror alert? Remember when the networks were urged not to broadcast bin Laden's messages because they might contain coded messages? And those were the messages that didn't promise future attacks on our soil.

Is it just me, or does it look as though we've returned to a pre-September 11 mindset? Maybe an August 6, 2001, mindset to be more specific? You know, if I wasn't such an optimist I'd think maybe all that bin Laden hysteria was politically motivated because we sure don't seem to give a shit about him now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Why Should Democrats Filibuster?

Simple. Just answer these two questions:
  1. What is the purpose of the Supreme Court?
  2. What are the first three words of our Constitution?

  1. As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.
  2. We the people

This is not George W. Bush's court, it is the people's court. It is charged with upholding the people's constitution not George W. Bush's constitution. The court needs to be representative of the people it is there to serve. Allowing Bush to stack it with conservatives would be doing a disservice to the American people.

If for no other reason, the Democrats should filibuster Alito on the basis that he would tip the balance of the court away from one that is representative of our country.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Two Speeches

On this day of observance, it would be hard for us not to reflect on that infamous speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963. One year ago, I wrote about what that speech meant, not just to me, but what I thought it meant to our country. It was about hope. Hope for our future.

Well that future is now the present and presently our country is in sad shape because of the incompetence, mismanagement, and misdeeds of those in charge. Scandals abound from money laundering to bribery, fom torture to illegal spying, from false intelligence to misleading statements, from inadequate planning to inadequate protection. As it says at the top of this blog: "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful." This statement embodies what Dr. King spoke of on that day so long ago. Unfortunately, that kind of sentiment falls on deaf ears in today's administration.

It makes me sad knowing that my country - which was founded to give the powerless a voice - has become one where greed and corruption are the norm for the ruling party. The powerless have had their voices silenced in favor of the poweful. And worse yet, the majority of the electorate are blindly ignorant of it. Therefore, it is time to take action. It is time to throw open the doors and shed some light on the underbelly of that fat, greedy beast that is controlling our government. Silence will not do this however, so we have to make some noise. And what better day than today - the day that we remember Dr. King and his fight for the powerless to be heard.

So as a bookend to the speech delivered by Dr. King over 40 years ago - a speech that talked about our country's future - I would like to offer this speech given today by former Vice President Al Gore. While Dr. King's speech was about the future, Gore's speech is about the present. While not as inspiring and not as historical, Gore's speech lays out the problems we currently face in bold, stark language. It's long and it's wordy, but its words are long over due. He's honest; he's aggressive; and most importantly, he's absolutely correct. Read the whole thing.


Friday, January 13, 2006


YOTD - Day 13 (Unshitting Their Pants Part II)

In an effort to innoculate themselves against the culture of corruption that has infected the Republican party, many Republicans are calling for those implicated in the Abramoff scandal to step down from their leadership roles. The latest target is Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH).

According to Hotline On Call, Hastert would like to unveil lobbying reform legislation but is reticent to do so as long as Ney is still in a leadership position. While this may appear logical on the surface, Hastert is attempting to do something I like to call unshitting his pants. You see, there are certain things in life that can't be undone. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, you can't unfuck the neighbor's wife/husband, and you simply can not unshit your pants. Try as you might, it's a done deal.

No matter how honorable Hastert's intentions are with this lobbyist reform legislation, the Republicans in Congress are already tainted. With DeLay and now Ney in the crosshairs, the party has acquired a reputation. The party's image has been damaged. The culture of corruption has taken root.

Unfortunately for Hastert and the rest of the Republicans, they've waited too long and dipped their hands too deeply into the cookie jar. This legislation would have meant a hell of a lot more if it had been introduced before Abramoff copped a plea. Now it just looks like a pathetic attempt to kiss up to their constituents.

Nice try Denny, but it's too little, too late.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


YOTD (Year of the Democrat) - Day 11

Looking at the latest polling data from the Pew Research Center, it is safe to say that the country is beginning to lean BLUE! I'll let you read the whole thing for yourself, but here's a little appetizer to wet your whistle.

As You can see, the Democrats lead in every single category except security/terrorism. We've got eleven months to work on that. As the Republican hypocrisy becomes ever more evident, the Democrats are looking better and better. Have I said it's going to be a good year?

Monday, January 09, 2006


Year of the Democrat - Day 9

If you've got your calendar nearby and a pencil handy, I want you to circle yesterday's date because the Democrats finally seem to be getting their shit together and yesterday was the first sign. In a rare showing of unity, the Democrats hit the talking head shows with a unified, concise message. There was no beating around the bush (no pun intended), no parsing of words, and no nuance to their message. It was truly a sight to behold. The popular topic of the day was the Abramoff scandal and the Democrats were ready to go.

For me, it began with Sen. Charles Schumer on Meet the Press. Schumer wasted no time and few words setting the record straight.

Very nice. Short, direct, and unequivocating. But the real coup de grace came a little later in the morning when DNC Chair Howard Dean appeared on CNN's Late Edition and Wolf Blitzer tried the same approach.

Ahhhhh! It's going to be a good year, I can feel it already. [Snif...Sniff] What's that I smell? Could it be the Republican party crashing and burning? One can only hope.

SIDENOTE: As you may know, Mrs. kissfan is a math teacher and she says that the Republicans are trying to play a game of guilt by the transitive property. What's the transitive property, you ask? Well, that's the mathematical rule that states If a=b and b=c, then a=c. Thereby, the Republicans are trying to say that if Abramoff represented Indian Tribes and Indian tribes donated to Democrats, then Abramoff donated to Democrats. Too bad for them, it's not that simple. Consider this a little bonus for all you math geeks out there.

Friday, January 06, 2006


The "Look-Away"

If you're a basketball fan like me (I'm watching my beloved Chicago Bulls right now), you know that there are few things more beautiful than a perfectly executed "look-away." The player draws his opponent's attention to another point on the floor by looking away from his intended target only to fire a blind pass to the open man. All sports have their own variation of the look-away. In football it's the "play-action pass:" it looks like a running play when in actuality it's a pass. In hockey it's the "deke:" the player handling the puck fakes one direction before moving the other way. In baseball, it's the "offspeed pitch:" a pitcher deliberately throws a slower pitch when the batter is looking for a fastball. In each instance, the motive is the same: to trick your opponent. In short, it's meant to deceive.

Today we saw the Bush administration attempt a political version of the lookaway. In an attempt to redirect the public's attention, various administration members fanned out across the nation in a childish attempt at the old "look over there" trick. Hoping that America would follow, administration officials set out to tout the economy. Bush came here to Illinois while Cheney and others went to Missouri, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. We were told that the economy had a "full head of steam" despite the lower than expected job numbers for the month of December.

But while the administration is hoping we will all "look over there," what they're trying to do is hide what's really going on. They're trying to get us to look away from the fact that the Republican party is collapsing right before our eyes. With the scandals and the implications of said scandals mounting, the party is grasping for anything that isn't tainted with negativity. And really, who can blame them? They're in shambles right now. In just over a year, they've gone from a mandate with political capital to burn to a party under suspicion and investigation. Party leadership is caught up in ethics battles, lobbyists have flipped for the prosecution, and the one-time party faithful have turned on the others. Despite their best efforts to put a lot of lipstick on the pig that Iraq has become, the reality on the ground keeps biting them in the ass.

With only eleven months to go until the midterm elections, it's important that the Democrats keep their eye on the ball. We can't get caught up in the misdirection play the Republican party is trying to run. Every time the White House attempts the look-away, the Democrats need to be there to refocus the attention on what they are trying to hide. Lord knows we can't rely on the traditional media to do it for us.

The most important word for the Democrats in 2006 is focus. We must stay focused on the task at hand: Making gains in congress. As I said in the days after the 2004 election, we have to win this fight from below.

If you haven't already begun, today is the day to start fighting and the first step is not falling for the look-away. Let's keep our eye on the ball and win this thing. What do you say?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The Chuck Schumer Seven, Part I

Last Tuesday, Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) stated "If the stars align right we could actually take back the Senate." He was referring, of course, to the upcoming senatiorial races in seven states in particular: Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. These states offer some of the best chances for the Democrats to pick up seats and possibly regain control of one of the houses of congress. As I see things, this is the first step in the process if the Democrats wish to regain a foothold in our government. So, over the next few weeks, I will be taking a look at the leading republican candidates in each of these states in the hopes of exposing a weakness that the Democrats can exploit.

For the first installation of this series I'm going to look at the incumbent republican from Arizona, Jon Kyl.

Jon Kyl was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1986 where he served from 1987 to 1995. Then in 1994, he was elected to the Senate winning the open seat that had been vacated by Democrat Dennis DeConcini when DeConcini retired. With a combined twenty years in congress, Kyl has a long voting record that will be difficult to escape. For instance, on two different occassions (June 20, 2000, and June 11, 2002), Jon Kyl voted against expanding hate crime legislation to include sexual orientation. On two other occassions (Oct 23, 1997, and March 6, 1998), Sen. Kyl voted against funding for small businesses owned by minorities and women. So I guess it would be safe to say that Sen Kyl is no fan of civil rights.

Unfortunately, he's not much better when it comes to education. On April 4, 2001, Sen Kyl voted against reducing the tax cut to help pay for education. Then on May 15 of that same year, Jon Kyle voted NO to funding for smaller class sizes and increased teacher training.

Jon Kyl has also voted NO on banning "soft money" contributions, NO on banning campaign donations from unions and corporations, and NO on the McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance. He voted NO on background checks at gun shows and he voted AGAINST an amendment to make it unlawful for gun dealers to sell handguns without providing trigger locks. He voted NO on allowing patients to sue HMOs and he also voted NO on including prescription drugs under Medicare. He's voted NO on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, YES on military base closures, and NO on banning chemical weapons. He voted YES to allowing more foreign workers into the U.S., YES to repealing rules to prevent repetitive stress injuries, and AGAINST increasing the minimum wage.

Jon Kyl's voting record is a veritable laundry list of anti-civil rights, anti-education, anti-working class, anti-health care, pro-gun, and pro-corporate legislation. He can't hide from his record.

Monday, January 02, 2006


The Dam Has Broken

Apparently, my writers block has cleared. Big post coming tomorrow! Check back then.

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