Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

2/04/2006

Thank God for bloggers!

What the Emm Ess Emm doesn't want you to know -

HOW OLD WAS GRANDPA MUNSTER??????


Good thing bloggers are on the case!

For sale: one immortal whale soul

Via Reuters:
LONDON - It used to be a practice confined to pacts with the devil, but now an anonymous vendor in America is offering to sell the soul of the London whale.

The Northern Bottlenosed Whale died two weeks ago after swimming up the River Thames into central London.

"I was accompanying the poor whale in his last journey, and he handed his soul to me. He asked me to sell it, so I could invest the money raised in other bottlenosed whales," said the seller from Minneapolis, giving the whale the wrong gender.

The soul seller describes the proud possession as "100 percent soul" and promises to ship it anywhere in the world.

"This soul will only increase in value in the future," wrote the vendor.

Illustrated with a picture purporting to be of a whale's brain, the only bid registered to date is for just $1.

No one from e-bay was immediately available to comment.

I loves the easy questions

Drum asks:
...Democrats ought to figure out now what they think about Iran ... So: What would be the Democratic response if (a) Bush asked for an authorization of force against Iran or (b) simply launched an assault without asking Congress?
Answers:

(a) fucking say no

(b) impeach

Thank you, come again.

"Outrage isn't shock-dependent"

Everything the Bush administration did in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq was specifically designed to create the impression that war was "unavoidable." We may not be surprised by new information about Bush's deceitful campaign for this immoral and illegal war, but as Lindsay says, the details that are coming out - including the plans to attempt to provoke Saddam into shooting down a U.S. plane - are important evidence of Bush's war crimes, and their significance shouldn't be minimized.

Behind the anger

For a limited time only, a sneak-peak, behind-the-scenes look at the making of this blog:





(Via.)

Cherry picking

Via Battlepanda:
Saddam is not being tried for the atrocity at Halabja, nor indeed for any other crime that the world had heard about before this trial: the aggression against Iran, for example, or the slaughter of the Shias who responded to George Bush snr's summons to revolt at the end of the Gulf War in 1991. Those topics are off-limits because, in one way or another, they implicate the US in his crimes.

Instead, he is being tried for the torture and execution of 148 people, whom he suspected of being involved in an assassination attempt against him, in the village of Dujail in 1982.
So let me get this straight - the US had to invade Iraq to 'liberate' its people from the next Hitler - and all they see fit to charge him with is a mass murder that is obviously horrific but which nonetheless falls short of, e.g., the death toll in the Oklahoma City bombing?

This isn't that hard, people

Why is it that "how progressives should talk about abortion" is always presented as some intractable dilemma? It's not that complicated.
What I'm talking about is this. As you may know, over at Slate Katha Pollitt and William Saletan are debating abortion under the banner of "Is Abortion Bad?" A great exchange and worth reading. What got my goat was a posting in response this morning by Sam Rosenfeld over at Tapped in which he favorably quotes Barbara Ehrenreich -- she of Nickeled and Dimed fame -- saying that the only thing that she regretted about her abortions was how much they cost. Rosenfeld says: "intellectually, Ehrenreich's position made sense" (emphasis in the original) and praised Ehrenreich for not being "squishy" on the issue like some Democrats. While I do appreciate the nice rhetorical touch in "intellectually," that statement still managed to make the skin crawl up on the back of my neck. Rosenfeld's implication is that abortion is entirely neutral -- morally, ethically, emotionally a wash -- except sometimes you get a bill when it's all over. It's telling that that he wonders how Saleten can believe that abortion is "morally wrong" and yet still distinguish it from murder.

To my mind, Rosenfeld gets at the crux of the issue for many Democrats -- if we don't think that abortion is a neutral, neither here nor there, how can we be so damn supportive of something that we believe to be a bad thing? It's a great question, I think. I'll answer for myself. As I see it now, the choice to terminate a pregnancies is a right endowed upon us by our creator (nature, higher power, whatever) to determine our own destinies. It's a survival mechanism that carries both great power and, as the ending of a potential life, a great responsibility.
All right, once and for all:

Abortion is a good thing.

Being in a position where you need/want to have an abortion is not.

(Sarah Silverman: "I want to get an abortion. But my boyfriend and I are having trouble conceiving.")

Why is this such a brain teaser for some people? Think of it as analogous to open heart surgery. Heart disease sucks; the fact that you can have surgery to help with heart disease is good. Unwanted pregnancy sucks; the fact that you can choose not to be pregnant any longer is good. Ideally, there would be no heart surgeries/abortions, because there would be no heart disease/unwanted pregnancy. Given that there is heart disease/unwanted pregnancy, we want people to be able to have heart surgery/abortions.

The question, "wouldn't you rather there be fewer abortions?" doesn't have an unqualified answer. Yes, if a decrease in abortions were the result of a decrease in unwanted pregnancies. If it were the result of something else, like increasing expense, criminalization of the procedure, etc., then the answer is no.

2/03/2006

This guy is my hero Too good to be true


Image via No Blood for Hubris.


...OK, via African Moonbat, this is of course a Photoshop job. Why that didn't occur to me, I can't possibly tell you - of all the little 'hoaxes' that float around the internet, this is certainly toward the obvious end, probably a limit case (to paraphrase Sara Goldfarb, if this is not obvious, I want to know what's obvious). I can only speculate that my faculty of reason was blinded by my desire to believe that one of these guys out there with a sign was actually a subversively clever trickster!

Oh well.

Parenting

Neal Pollack:
I pulled down Elijah's pants, unfastened his diaper, gently lowered it with the precision of a Nip/Tuck character, lifted it back up, tipped it over, and tumbled some magic nugs into the can. Then I had to pick up the three pieces of crap I'd accidentally dropped on the floor.

For those of you who are planning to have children: Welcome to the rest of your fucking life. Parenthood has many payoffs, but where you once would have been getting high and watching Cartoon Network in the early evening, now you will be picking up human shit from the floor of a Parks And Recreation Center restroom.
Yech. I'm not a parent so I couldn't really say, but I think I'd prefer getting high and watching cartoons.

Swallow that right-wing propaganda

Ezra Klein, using tasteless language, considering the context, bashes Cindy Sheehan:
Sometimes, the left decides shooting itself in the foot would be to trite and instead aims a shotgun blast at its head. Today's trigger happy hunter: Cindy Sheehan.

Jesus.
Her crime? Meeting with the New Hitler (as declared by Don Rumsfeld), Hugo Chavez.

Brad Plumer:
Oh god, no. Hanging out with our newest boogeyman in Latin American. What will Cindy Sheehan stoop to next?


...our friend Scott adds:
The horror (horror!) at the fact that Sheehan might somehow cause the Democratic party to appear sympathetic to just causes is... pretty funny, actually.

God forbid you should actually challenge the fascist propaganda machine by speaking the truth; no, you would rather just step timidly through your enemy's mine field, each expolosion making you more twitchy and frantic. Don't worry, comrades, you're almost out, if you can only belly-crawl over that next hill! Hahaha.

Goodbye 20th century capitalism

So says Robert Newman in the Guardian (emphasis added):
Our economic system is unsustainable by its very nature. The only response to climate chaos and peak oil is major social change

There is no meaningful response to climate change without massive social change. A cap on this and a quota on the other won't do it. Tinker at the edges as we may, we cannot sustain earth's life-support systems within the present economic system.

Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature. It is predicated on infinitely expanding markets, faster consumption and bigger production in a finite planet. And yet this ideological model remains the central organising principle of our lives, and as long as it continues to be so it will automatically undo (with its invisible hand) every single green initiative anybody cares to come up with.

Much discussion of energy, with never a word about power, leads to the fallacy of a low-impact, green capitalism somehow put at the service of environmentalism. In reality, power concentrates around wealth. Private ownership of trade and industry means that the decisive political force in the world is private power. The corporation will outflank every puny law and regulation that seeks to constrain its profitability. It therefore stands in the way of the functioning democracy needed to tackle climate change. Only by breaking up corporate power and bringing it under social control will we be able to overcome the global environmental crisis.

...You can either have capitalism or a habitable planet. One or the other, not both.

And Instapundit takes a trip to the land of depravity

The shameless and detestable Glenn Reynolds - who on second thought actually resides in the land of depravity - wants the U.S. to be "scarier and less predictable" on the international stage.

Malkin takes a trip to the land of incoherence

Malkin descends into literal logical absurdity: the State Department is anti-American, and "it never usually does" speak on behalf of her and her fellow wingnuts.

Just say no

Bush to Request $120B More for War Funding


... a lot of Congressional Democrats are speaking out against the Iraq war now. But will they continue to vote for its funding?

Post-Roe

Grace makes an interesting point about the potential extent of the fallout if Roe v. Wade is overturned:
I'm curious to see how fast and how strong the push-back against the anti-choice movement will be when reality starts smacking people in the face.

The economics of our country are far less accommodating to unplanned and unwanted pregnancies (involving how many medically uninsured?) than they were prior to Roe v. Wade. Overturning Roe v. Wade could destabilize an already shaky middle-class, not only directly but indirectly through increased demands on local and state services and the inevitable increase in taxes.

N.B.

If you're 10 years old, and you begin a sentence with the words: "I don't want to sound pompous, but...," guess what -

You're too late.

Link.

2/02/2006

Should-be Hall of Famer

This post at C&L got me thinking:
Don Mattingly is the guy who would be a "Hall of Famer" if he didn't get injured early in his career. Who are your favorites that probably will never make the hall, but were tremendous players?
When I think about players who deserve to be in the HOF but probably won't end up there, I immediately think of one person: Jim Edmonds of the St. Louis Cardinals. My argument for Edmonds' HOF worthiness boils down to this: if Ozzie Smith is in the Hall, Edmonds ought to be.

Edmonds is, in my opinion, Ozzie's equal defensively; he is as good a centerfielder as Ozzie was a shortstop. At the very least, he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with him, as they say. Ozzie had a .978 fielding percentage; Edmonds' stands at .990. Ozzie won 13 Gold Gloves; Edmonds' total is at 8 and counting.

Admittedly, fielding statistics are an exceedingly rough measure; it's hard to quantify defensive skill. But even if you prefer qualitative judgments, anyone who watched both players on a regular basis has to admit that Edmonds' play in center has been absolutely awe-inspiring, just as Ozzie's play at short was. Busch Stadium had a relatively spacious outfield, and Edmonds seemed to be able to reach just about anything that was hit out there. Plus, one might think that an extraordinary centerfielder is more valuable to a team than an equally talented shortstop, if for no other reason than when a shortstop 'robs' a hitter, he robs him of at most a single, while when an outfielder robs a hitter, it is often of a double or a triple.

On top of this, Edmonds' offensive prowess of course dwarfs Ozzie's. The Wizard's career numbers at the plate:

Batting Avg. - .262
OBP - .337
Slugging - .328
HR - 28
RBI - 793


Now Edmonds' numbers (and keep in mind that Edmonds, though past his prime, probably has 2-3 productive years in front of him):

Batting Avg. - .291
OBP - .384
Slugging - .543
HR - 331
RBI - 998


No contest, obviously.

So the upshot of the Edmonds-Ozzie comparison: Edmonds is arguably just as spectacular defensively as Ozzie was - at the very least, he's in the same league - and he's a much, much better hitter. Since Ozzie is in the Hall - an uncontroversial, first-ballot pick - so ought Edmonds be.

Q.E.D.

Teh funny

Sirkowski: Islam and Humour

Rumsfeld: Chavez is the new Hitler

Grrr...
Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington at about the same time that Chavez announced the expulsion of the US naval attache in Caracas for spying, Rumsfeld said the emergence of populist leaders through elections in Latin American was "worrisome."

"You've got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money," he said. "He's a person who was elected legally just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally."
As was George W. Bush.

Well...


UPDATE: Human-animal hybrid Ape Man objects that Hitler wasn't actually elected leader of Germany.

Well, sure, if you want to get all "factual" about things.

Ape man also has an intelligent critique of the Chavez-Hitler comparison, as opposed to whatever it is I'm offering.

I am filled with Christ's love

OK, let me see if I can follow this: wingnut Jesus freaks make a movie about missionaries who were killed in Ecuador. In the lead role, they cast an actor who just so happens to be gay. Other wingnut Jesus freaks blow a gasket. But one Kevin T. Bauder, who is president of something called the Central Baptist Seminary in Minnesota, calls for restraint:
"Granted, we must not overreact. And it would probably be an overreaction to firebomb these men's houses. But what they have done is no mistake. It is a calculated strategy."
I agree; firebombing their houses would probably be an overreaction.

Man on the moon

Matt at Cerulean Blue wonders:
Is President Bush actually a brilliant performance artist? Is his inarticulate jock schtick really an elaborate practical joke? I mean, he's so unbelievably dense that I'm wondering if it's all just a huge put on. Like maybe at the end of his term, he'll rip off his mask and reveal that it was Andy Kaufman the whole time. "Ta-Da!! Now...who wants to wrestle?"

Thoughts?

Hyperbole

Quick thought -

Conservatives, self-declared moderates, and "Sensible Liberals" are quick to decry any instance of perceived hyperbole on the left - e.g., Harry Belafonte calling Bush the world's greatest tyrant, pro-choicers warning us about the return of coat-hanger abortions, environmentalists predicting ecological catastrophe, etc. etc.

The conservatives' motivation in complaining about alleged hyperbole is obvious; forget them for the moment.

Among moderates and mainstream liberals, on the other hand, there seems to be a consensus that this kind of hyperbolic rhetoric is an obstacle to Democratic electoral success. E.g. Michael Reynolds (seconded by Justin Gardner):
Over at DailyKos we have one diarist calling the Democrat Senators who voted for cloture on the Alito nomination, "Vichy Democrats."

The "Vichy Senators" number 19. Out of 44 Democrats. 19 Senators out of 44. Just about 43% of the Democrats in the Senate are being compared to Nazi collaborators.

18% of Americans identify themselves as liberals. Twice as many call themselves moderates. So, I have a message for the Kos Kids. It's a message that I would have thought was self-evident. But apparently the barrel of liberal delusions is bottomless. So, let's try putting this simply, with affection, with love, for our none-too-bright bretheren on the Left.

From: The Moderates
To: The Kossacks

Dear Friends:
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER IS THROUGH US.
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER IS THROUGH US.
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER IS THROUGH US.
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER . . .
Funny, it doesn't seem to have worked so far.

Where did these "squishy moderates" get the idea that hyperbole is an electoral disadvantage? The Republicans success is almost entirely based on hyperbole - The Terrorists will annihilate our civilization if we don't invade the Middle East! Liberals want to outlaw the Bible! Homosexuals are conspiring to turn your children gay! Environmentalists want to destroy the economy just so they can save a couple of birds! Etc. etc. etc.!!

I'm not exactly saying that the Democrats should adopt such rhetoric - and besides, much of the supposed hyperbole on the left is actually an accurate assessment of reality. But I am wondering just how these people got it in their heads that hyperbole is the road to political oblivion, when precedent would seem to suggest the opposite.

2/01/2006

Dangerous, illegal, and increasingly common

We thought the days of "coat hanger" abortions were over, but we were wrong:
Most commonly, they ingest a whole bottle of quinine pills, with castor oil...we try to get them to the ER before their cardiac rhythm is interrupted...Sometimes they douche with very caustic products like bleach. We had a patient, a teen, who burned herself so badly with bleach that we couldn’t even examine her, her vaginal tissue was so painful....”

“Our local hospital tells me they see 12-20 patients per year, who have already self-induced or had illegal abortions. Some make it, some don’t. They are underage or poor women mostly, and a few daughters of pro-life families...”

If you assume the quotes above come from a veteran of the abortion rights movement, talking about the "bad old days" before Roe v. Wade, when desperate women suffered death and injuries because abortion was illegal, you’d be partly right. The speaker is a longtime worker in reproductive health, whose involvement with abortion started before Roe. But the situations she describes are occurring now.

Jen (not her real name) is administrator of a women’s health clinic in the South that provides abortions. She has noted with alarm the recent rise in illegal abortion in her community. For some of the women she sees—after their initial attempts at abortion fail—whether Roe v. Wade is technically still the law of the land is beside the point.
HT: Blue Voice.

Never mind

Hey, remember that stuff in the State of the Union address about reducing dependence on foreign oil? Just kidding.
Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports

WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.

What the president meant, they said in a conference call with reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025.

But America still would import oil from the Middle East, because that's where the greatest oil supplies are.

The president's State of the Union reference to Mideast oil made headlines nationwide Wednesday because of his assertion that "America is addicted to oil" and his call to "break this addiction."

Bush vowed to fund research into better batteries for hybrid vehicles and more production of the alternative fuel ethanol, setting a lofty goal of replacing "more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025."

He pledged to "move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past."

Not exactly, though, it turns out.

"This was purely an example," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.

...Asked why the president used the words "the Middle East" when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands." The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he feared that his remarks might get him in trouble.
America's been punked again.

In the end, we win

Jedmunds uncovers one his old posts.
To me the difference between Conservatives and Liberals is that liberals really are happy people. We joke around. We laugh at ourselves. We laugh at the world. We enjoy ourselves. Conservatives on the other hand ... are some of the most bitter, resentment filled people around.

...And we become ever so much more like them when we allow ourselves to be driven insane (I’m a lookin’ at some of you folks who post at you know where) by the outright unchecked evil of the world around us ... I’m not exactly saying we should sit back, say fuck it, and ride the tide. But while we maintain against the grain, there’s no reason not to have a smile on our faces, and in fact that smile is in some ways how we do it.
"The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy ... We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science ... There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life ... If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever." -from Nineteen Eighty-Four

*****

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

*****

"I would not know what the spirit of a philosopher might wish more to be than a good dancer." -Nietzsche, The Gay Science

"Addiction" is an understatement

One of the human-animal hybrids at The Corner complains about the emphasis given to Bush's line about being addicted to oil:
As an indication of what the rest of the world thought was important about the SOTU speech, here's the BBC's headline: "Bush urges end to oil addiction." That one, silly, inaccurate metaphor has attracted more press around the world than anything about Iraq, Iran, cloning, spending cuts or globalization. Le Monde called it his "principal announcement" and even translated the phrase as saying oil is like a drug to America.
Yes, what a crazy translation that is ...

I think the addiction metaphor is a bit inaccurate, but probably not in the way the NRO wingnuts do: it probably understates our dependence upon oil.

Saying that the economy is addicted to oil is kind of like saying that fish are addicted to water. Oil is one of the basic currencies of the world economy; it is the fuel, both literally and metaphorically, driving the engine of a substantial portion of human activity.

Maybe we'll get lucky, and the peak oil theorists will turn out to be wrong. Otherwise, weaning ourselves from oil is going to make heroin withdrawal look like a stroll in the park.

Better late than never

A mainstream blogger, Kevin Drum, appears to be catching on to the inherent bogusness of the "War on Terror."

Good for him - and I mean that; I'm not being snarky. (I'm trying to be less of an asshole.)

Lindsay has a spot-on explanation:
There's certainly a war going on in Iraq. It's the kind of low-level foreign war that rich countries fight all the time while carrying on business as usual at home. By itself, the conflict in Iraq wouldn't justify any extraordinary war measures at home. The PR triumph of the Bush administration is to convince people that our nasty little war in Iraq is part of something much grander: A Global War on Terror.

GWOT-talk invites comparisons total wars like WW1 and WW2 in which entire nations were mobilized to fight. It's during those kinds of all-consuming, but ultimately-time limited struggles that democratic governments temporarily invoked special powers that would have been unthinkable in peacetime, or during some remote colonial skirmish.

It's convenient for the Bush administration to have a real shooting war to point to. Without Iraq, the "War on Terror" would diminish in stature. It would be obvious that the GWOT is like its predecessor, The War On Drugs--an amalgam of policework, PR, and powergrabs dressed up in war metaphors.

Whenever anyone questions whether we're at war, Bush points to our troops in the field. They are objective evidence that he is a war president. The question is, which war? Not the war on terror, because there's no such thing.

Addiction

In his State of the Union address, Bush said that the US is "addicted to oil." Tristero asks: "And what do addicts do when they don't get their fix?"
Steal, lie, rob their grandparents (or grandchildren). They become irrationally violent. Uncontrollable.

In short, Bush just put the world on notice. For the next 20 years or so, America's official policy is "Anything for Oil."

Isn't it ironic?

Don't you think?
...it's hard to imagine a scene more absurd than a president giving a speech that used the word "freedom" 17 times in lines like "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it" just after a woman is dragged out of the room and arrested for wearing a t-shirt with a message that the president's handlers didn't like.

By the way

If you want an intelligent, mature take on the whole cloning thing - cause Lord knows you aren't getting that here - read this.

George W. Bush's America

























1/31/2006

Well, he's no Manzoni...

But this is pretty funny:
A Wakefield man lost his appetite when he found "dog shit" listed among the ingredients on a packet of ham.

Mick Woods, 34, examined another of the 300g containers and saw the same 'additive' listed on the label.

And he admitted: "Obviously I haven't eaten it. It sort of puts you off."

His partner Tracey, 28, bought the 99p packs of cooked, sliced ham from a store near their home.

The dad-of-three added: "We spent 40 minutes laughing. But we haven't put any in the kids' sandwiches and we had something else for our tea."

Manufacturer H R Hargreaves & Son said it axed an employee over the labeling prank and was trying to recall the ham.

A spokesman for the Manchester firm said: "We can't have people fooling about with food products. A number of packs are affected. We're trying to find out what shops they're in."

Our party can kick your party's ass

Wingnuts, peeved about Kerry's attempt at a filibuster, took the opportunity to mock him for losing in 2004:
Senator, you're done. We only wish you'd realize it. (Captain's Quarters.)


Kerry is Still a Loser (Blogs for Bush)


Republicans loved 2004 loser Kerry's flop of a filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito... (Power Line.)
Notice that GOPers tend to view politics as if it were a football game - Republicans RULE!! WHOOOO!!! In your FACE, Democrats!! - rather than, you know, serious business with life and death consequences?

Uh ... um ... what?

Am I to understand that Bush used his state of the union address to call for the banning of human-animal hybrids?????

I ... just ...

That....

Why...

Huh.

(Link.)

Yeah, well

Via Majikthise:
Some women in Springfield are regretting their decision last week to get a tattoo from a door-to-door tattoo salesman.

"SOTU"

I didn't see Bush's state of the union address - or wait, is it on now? Oh well - but I'm told that Dubya plans on lecturing Americans about their "addiction to oil."

Gllphh.


Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Our Franchise

From Factesque:

In an act of the purest optimism I am going to start the official count of blogs participating in the first post-Alito blogswarm.  This one happens to be about a little thing I like to call Our Franchise, how we've lost it and how we're going to get it back.  

So far the following blogs have thrown their full support behind the Fitzpatrick Amendment and the Coalition for Voting Integrity, which proposed the legislation to the Congressman.  The bill will move the HAVA deadline past the 2006 primaries.   It's a very small step but it establishes precedent and it will allow some counties who are struggling to do the right thing (get a voter-verified paper ballot) some extra time to see if they can do it.  

The conventional wisdom around Blogland is that the Democrats have got to "start winning elections" if they want to have any influence on the direction the nation takes.  And this is true.  But all the clever strategy and appealing candidates won't mean shit if there's no guarantee of a fair vote.

1/30/2006

A silver lining?

Months ago, liberal bloggers argued that Paul Hackett's defeat was actually a victory of sorts. Now, Digby makes a similar claim about the Alito nomination:
So we only got 25 Senators to vote for a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee ... Do you know how many votes the Republicans managed to get when uber wingnut Antonin Scalia was confirmed? 98. And Democrats had a majority. We didn't have to even think about a filibuster. We couldn't defeat Clarence Thomas and we had a majority, a huge push from women's groups and a very dramatic set of hearings that went into the wee hours of the morning. It is very, very tough to do.

...I didn't expect it to get more than 25 votes and I'm frankly stunned that we did as well as we did. Indeed, something very interesting happened that I haven't seen in more than a decade.

When it became clear that the vote was going against the filibuster, Diane Feinstein, a puddle of lukewarm water if there ever was one, decided to backtrack and play to the base instead of the right wing. That's new folks ... Obama had to choke out his support for a filibuster, but he did it. A calculation was made that he needed to play to the base instead of the punditocrisy who believe that being "bold" is voting with the Republicans. Don't underestimate how much pressure there is to do that, especially for a guy like Obama who is running for King of the Purple. The whole presidential club, including Biden joined the chorus.

... The idea that it is somehow a sign of weakness because we only got 25 members of the Senate, including the entire leadership, to vote to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee is funny to me. Two years ago I would have thought somebody was on crack if they even suggested it was possible.
And Digby links to Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher, who (rightly, in my view) praises John Kerry and other Dems who did put up a fight:
DC pundits are feeling threatened, and many have tried to dismiss this as John Kerry's cynical attempts to manipulate the grass roots, but that's a mistake. It was a groundswell that swept me and other bloggers up and called out for direction, and somehow John Kerry heard that and he stepped into a leadership position and he gave it to us. He gave our frustrations a focus, he offered us a chance to stand up and fight regardless of the likelihood of success, and that was all we asked. He validated our efforts and he let people know that their voices were being heard in spite of the timidity gripping many of his peers.

...I frankly think the passion of the netroots community surprised him. For those who want to criticize him for not acting earlier or better, I do not think he had any reason to believe that this kind of support was extant or that we would have his back. He put his neck on the line over at Kos and the Huffington Post, not knowing what was going to come back. The outpouring of gratitude that came back to him for his efforts was extremely moving.

Next time he'll know. And so will we.

We shook things up. People like Joe Biden and Barak Obama were extremely irked about being put on the spot. Diane Feinstein changed her vote, and it's entirely possible others did likewise and we just didn't hear it. We forced those who voted for cloture into publicly opposing us, and now we know where things stand. And everyone across the political spectrum knows we're here now. They are starting to get a glimmer of the kind of muscle we can put behind something we believe it. It was a great moment, a grand and noble fight and I am so proud of each and every one of you for taking part in it.

For shame

Akaka, Daniel K. (D-HI)
Baucus, Max (D-MT)
Bingaman, Jeff (D-NM)
Byrd, Robert C. (D-WV)
Cantwell, Maria (D-WA)
Carper, Thomas R. (D-DE)
Conrad, Kent (D-ND)
Dorgan, Byron L. (D-ND)
Harkin, Tom (D-IA)
Inouye, Daniel K. (D-HI)
Johnson, Tim (D-SD)
Kohl, Herb (D-WI)
Landrieu, Mary L. (D-LA)
Lieberman, Joseph I. (D-CT)
Lincoln, Blanche L. (D-AR)
Nelson, Bill (D-FL)
Nelson, E. Benjamin (D-NE)
Pryor, Mark L. (D-AR)
Rockefeller, John D., IV (D-WV)
Salazar, Ken (D-CO)


Hold these people accountable when abortion is criminalized. (Link)

A telling response

Anyone else notice that the big boy bloggers reacted rather negatively to a story in the Washington Post that claimed that the liberal blogosphere was trying to pull the Democratic Party to the left? As if that would be such a terrible thing...

Fight the power!

The Pandagonians got themselves de-linked by Mighty Mouse! How cool is that?

Jesus Christ, the only constituent

Wow.
[Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback] tells a story about a chaplain who challenged a group of senators to reconsider their conception of democracy. "How many constituents do you have?" the chaplain asked. The senators answered: 4 million, 9 million, 12 million. "May I suggest," the chaplain replied, "that you have only one constituent?"

Brownback pauses. That moment, he declares, changed his life. "This" - being senator, running for president, waving the flag of a Christian nation - "is about serving one constituent." He raises a hand and points above him.

1/29/2006

The War on Terror does not exist

Two people get it, at least.

I know I have

Blogger for Bush Mark Noonan:
I think that we've all had just about enough of Mexico

"I am evil, and I love pork and beans"



Image via i:de'o:gramas.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory Sanity is not statistical.