Friday, November 10, 2006
It's been a crazy week. Besides the wonderful things that have been happening nationally work's been just nuts and my ability to post has been cut considerably by the collapse of my home computer to the dreaded motherboardblowsup virus. It appears it won't be recovering. So here are a few random thoughts on various items I'd wanted to talk about this week but didn't get the chance--
The Virginia Senate seat - I was trying to figure out the math on the senate make up with Lieberman and what it would mean if Allen beat Webb. In that case the Senate would have stood at 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans with 2 independents. As I understand it (I could be wrong about this) the Vice President doesn't vote when it comes to determining Majority Leader, only on bills before the Senate that are tied. This would've really put Lieberman in the cat bird's seat. Webb's win then diffused some of Lieberman's bargaining power though I don't doubt he'll still leverage quite a bit out of Democrats.
Governor Schwarzenegger - I don't believe his moderate act but, truth be told, what really gets me down about his re-election is that it makes it unlikely this film will ever be made. I may not like Arnold the Governator but I enjoy Arnold the bad actor immensely.
Conservatives - My very cool brother gave me John Dean's "Conservatives Without Conscience" for my birthday and probably the best parts of that book are the beginning chapters in which Dean searches for the definition of "conservatism" itself by examining the statements of it's leaders. The long and the short of is that it that the only thing conservatives seem to have in common is an overwhelming belief that "liberals" are bad. It's really a movement more easily defined by what it isn't rather than what it is.
With that in mind I got a good chuckle out of people like Ann Coulter, George Will and Rush Limbaugh trying to spin this election as a victory for conservatives by concentrating on the moderate Dems just elected and claiming America was really voting against liberals again. Who did they vote for? Who did the rest of the Bush wingnut base vote for? Moderate Democrats or Republicans?
Face facts guys: this election was to movement conservatism the same thing that Ned Beatty's run in with a toothless hillbilly on a river rafting trip did- America saying "Squeal piggie!"
Investigations vs. Impeachment - A lot of progressives seem to be fretting because Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have said impeachment is off the table. First comes first, guys. Investigate and THEN impeach. ;-)
Rummy b' Gone - I spent yesterday morning looking for a quote from Rumsfeld which was something he said at his press conference with Bush to the effect that "if voters understoond what kind of war we're fighting the election would've been different." Bush made similar comments- owing the results to the inability of our simple minds to wrap around the complex strategy they've put in place to prosecute the GWOT.
Dear Rummy - You're no Sun Tzu. You aren't even a Sonny Bono. True military strategists adapt to the patterns of the enemy, not stumble blindly forward on the same path fighting the war you wish you were fighting. Small, rapid troop deployments combined with high-tech military equipment may be effective when fighting conventional armies but that's not what we're facing in Iraq, you worthless hack.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
We're not going to leave before the job is done. And obviously, we've got a lot of work to do with some members of Congress. I don't know how many members of Congress said, get out right now - I mean, the candidates running for Congress in the Senate. I haven't seen that chart.
I'd like to see that chart myself because if you were to ask the question "how many Democratic congressman say we should immediately pull out of Iraq" the answer would be none. None congressmen.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
On the day following his re-election Bush made the following observation:
"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."
As you might expect today Bush is singing a different tune:
"I recognize that many Americans voted last night to register their displeasure with the lack of progress being made" in Iraq, the president said. "Yet I also believe most Americans - and leaders here in Washington from both political parties - understand we cannot accept defeat."
As has been aptly pointed out many times before by others "defeat" to George W. Bush means a signifigant withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. Yet this is exactly what the voters are demanding by yesterday's vote.
It's another "accountability moment," Mr. President. Time to open wide and take you medicine like a big boy.
President Bush "Just like the last election I earned political capital last night. In this case it's what I call 'deficit political capital." I intend to spend it."
Donald Rumsfeld "Goodness gracious, gee golly wilikers."
Dick Cheney "Unfortunately tonight the American people decided to join our enemies and, through their reckless actions in the ballot box, provide the terrorists with a key to our house. A major city will now be hit."
Rush Limbaugh "Folks, if it weren't for Democrats we would have won this election."
Secretary Rice "I called the Iraqi ambassador to express to him that our policy towards his country would not change as a result of this vote and unfortunately he could not stop laughing."
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Eighty-five million years ago Rex Anne was out there feeling very important, looking for something to eat, and so I just wanted to remind my members, "Let's not get too full of ourselves here. This is a long democracy. We'll have our innings, but there'll be other people who will get their innings, too."
I recall reading an article on Gingrich at the time they took congress in which he referenced the skull and taking the opposite in his intended symbolism: it represented the primacy of the powerful on the food change and the (hoped) permanence of Gingrich's Republican majority. It represented more hubris than humility.
I remember thinking at the time that he seemed awfully comfortable in the Speaker's office. That it was going to be a huge hassle for him in a couple years when the voters realize their mistake and Republicans lose the House again and he has to move that big skull back out of that office. I resolved to do whatever I could to make sure Gingrich - and his T Rex skull - were kicked to the curb.
Now - fourteen years later and with Gingrich long gone - it looks like his revolution is finally coming to an end today. Although that's a long time to wait I take comfort in the fact that it could have been much worse.
It could've been eighty-five million years.
Monday, November 06, 2006
I also realize it's quite a bit of stuff to watch but most of it you've probably seen before. The stuff from "V" are a couple of the best bits from the film, IMHO. Hendrix playing a song that tears me up in pretty much ANY form (except Jessica Simpson's version - ick) Eminem's "Mosh" which got me so stoked that the youth of America would save us. They tried. They were just overwhelmed by the "afraid of their own shadow" security voters.
Most of all it's a combination of both glum assesment of the current state of affairs and call to arms. Here's a silly, fun video to bring hope which I stole directly from Jane Hamsher at firedoglake.
I was watching a television program before, with a kind of roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends - apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends' mothers. And they brought the boyfriends out, and they fought, right there on television. Toby, tell me: these people don't vote, do they?
"We hold these truths to be self-evident," they said, "that all men are created equal." Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down. Decisions are made by those who show up.
Yeah, I screwed you on that one. You got hosed... I put the hammer to farmers in Concord, Salem, Laconia, Pelham... You guys got rogered but good. Today for the first time in history, the largest group of Americans living in poverty are children. 1 in 5 children live in the most abject, dangerous, hopeless, back-breaking, gut-wrenching poverty any of us could imagine. 1 in 5, and they're children. If fidelity to freedom of democracy is the code of our civic religion then surely the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten commandment that says we shall give our children better than we ourselves received. Let me put it this way: I voted against the bill because I didn't want to make it hard for people to buy milk. I stopped some money from flowing into your pocket. If that angers you, if you resent me, I completely respect that. But if you expect anything different from the President of the United States, you should vote for someone else.