Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kerry Takes the Gloves Off

From a press release on John Kerry's web site responding to Whitehouse Press Liar Tony Snow:

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Too bad he didn't respond like this during his presidential campaign.

Friday, October 27, 2006

If Rod Serling Controlled the World . . .

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I’ve always thought that Rod Serling was way, way ahead of his time. His classic Twilight Zone episodes were brilliant in their ability to force their protagonists - and consequently his audience - to face a moral dilemma and experience the consequences of failing to control evil impulses.

As I recently watched Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox during his radio show, I suddenly realized that now should have been Rod Serling’s time! In fact, if Rod Serling were currently pulling the strings here on Earth, we might have the pleasure of experiencing some stories like these:

  • Rush Limbaugh would slowly watch himself develop symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

  • George Allen would wake up one morning, look in the mirror and see the face of Kenneth Blackwell (while Kenneth Blackwell would be looking at the other side of the mirror and seeing the back end of George Allen’s horse!)

  • Dick Cheney’s cardiologist would tell him that his only chance to avoid another fatal heart attack would be a new experimental treatment that involved being strapped to a board and doused with water.

  • Donald Rumsfeld would be knocked unconscious, only to wake up and find himself in a foxhole next to Pat Tillman.

  • One by one, every person in Bill O’Reilly’s world would remove a rubber mask and reveal themself to be a clone of Keith Olbermann.

  • Condoleeza Rice would appear at a career counselor’s office, and realize that her resume was only impressive enough to qualify her for work at a Wal-Mart.
Surely there are many more possibilities. Please feel free to add them to the comments. I am particularly interested in hearing suggestions for a Twilight Zone episode involving George W. Bush.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Left-Over’s Contribution to the Pre-Election Ooglegay Ombbay!

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In case you happen to be interested in knowing the details of any of these GOP candidates, here are the links. This is our part in the combined efforts of the Lefty Blogosphere to help reveal the warts on this bunch of toads. (Note: The Pig Latin is our way of making that contribution less obvious to the Ooglegay Olicepay, in whatever forms they may appear!)

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
--AZ-01: Rick Renzi
--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
--CA-04: John Doolittle
--CA-11: Richard Pombo
--CA-50: Brian Bilbray
--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
--CO-05: Doug Lamborn
--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
--CT-04: Christopher Shays
--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
--FL-16: Joe Negron
--FL-22: Clay Shaw
--ID-01: Bill Sali
--IL-06: Peter Roskam
--IL-10: Mark Kirk
--IL-14: Dennis Hastert
--IN-02: Chris Chocola
--IN-08: John Hostettler
--IA-01: Mike Whalen
--KS-02: Jim Ryun
--KY-03: Anne Northup
--KY-04: Geoff Davis
--MD-Sen: Michael Steele
--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
--MN-06: Michele Bachmann
--MO-Sen: Jim Talent
--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
--NV-03: Jon Porter
--NH-02: Charlie Bass
--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
--NM-01: Heather Wilson
--NY-03: Peter King
--NY-20: John Sweeney
--NY-26: Tom Reynolds
--NY-29: Randy Kuhl
--NC-08: Robin Hayes
--NC-11: Charles Taylor
--OH-01: Steve Chabot
--OH-02: Jean Schmidt
--OH-15: Deborah Pryce
--OH-18: Joy Padgett
--PA-04: Melissa Hart
--PA-07: Curt Weldon
--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
--PA-10: Don Sherwood
--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
--TN-Sen: Bob Corker
--VA-Sen: George Allen
--VA-10: Frank Wolf
--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Now That's a Follow Up Question!

Here is an interesting exchange from today's press gaggle aboard Air Force One with Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto. The reporter "Jennifer" actually asks logical follow up questions until Mr. Fratto abruptly ends the presser.

Q You said that it's the only way to proceed, to prepare for a Republican-controlled Congress. With such a close election, and with both parties recognizing how close it's going to be, why not at least consider both alternatives?

MR. FRATTO: We're still in the game, and -- if you're in the game, you're in it to win.

Q But you don't know the outcome of the game any more than I do, and --

MR. FRATTO: We feel confident about the outcome, and that's the way we're going to proceed.

Q Continuing the analogy, but government isn't a game, and you are governing, and so your responsibility is to prepare for how to govern regardless of how it turns out. So it may be a game in the political sense, but it's really not a game to Americans who want their government to be ready to do what needs to be done.

MR. FRATTO: He'll be ready.

Q That means you're preparing for the other outcome?

MR. FRATTO: We are ready. We are ready for -- we're ready for a -- we're ready to work with a Republican Congress. Nice try, Jennifer.

Q That would suggest not ready for a Democratic Congress.

MR. FRATTO: Questions? Anything else? Thank you.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Photo of the Day: That's My President

Al Gore Speaks at a Prop. 87 Rally today in Berkeley California.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

To Those Who Still Still Support George W. Bush, Who's Your Hero? [Updated]

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As the President’s approval ratings have dropped lower and lower, I’ve been thinking more and more about the people who remain in the Bush camp and what it would take to move them. After reading this letter written by Kevin Tillman, the brother of Pat Tillman, I am reminded of a time when my path crossed that of someone who I picture as one of those people.

In 2004, I participated in an open water swimming race in the San Francisco Bay. It was a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, and one of the associated events was a banquet during which numerous current and former Olympic swimmers who were participating in the race were honored. After growing up as a competitive swimmer, I was excited to meet one of my childhood heroes, John Naber, who won 4 gold medals and a silver in the 1976 Olympics. Of the current Olympians scheduled to swim in the race, the one I most wanted to meet was Klete Keller, who had been central to possibly the most dramatic moment of the Athens games, when he anchored the U.S. team and held off Ian Thorpe to win the 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay Gold Medal by only a few hundredths of a second.

During the dinner, all of the elite athletes were introduced and were asked to stand and share with the audience one of their heroes. This event was shortly after Pat Tillman had been killed in Afghanistan, and Keller gave a stirring and emotional account of his respect and admiration for Tillman, citing his patriotism and sense of duty. He actually came to tears as he spoke of being inspired by Tillman to go on to a career in the military to serve on behalf of this great country. I seem to recall several times when he mentioned President Bush as its inspirational leader, and it was clear that he was a strong supporter of the Bush Administration.

I left thinking that, while I probably shared few political views with Keller, I could respect the sincerity and passion of his convictions; and although I could imagine nothing that would change his mind about the policies of the current President, I wished the best for the young man.

After reading Kevin Tillman’s letter, which is a scathing critique of the Bush policies in response to 9/11 and which calls upon readers to honor Pat Tillman’s birthday by voting for Democrats on the following day, I could not help but think about Klete Keller. Is he still among those who steadfastly support Bush’s policies? What would he think about Kevin Tillman’s letter? Is he still among the 37% who support George W, or would he honor the request of the only person left who can truly speak for his hero?

[Update] I suspect that I may know the answer to these questions after finding a few strong hints on Keller’s website. It links to an article that describes his daily routine as including “watching Bill O’Reilly in the evening.” It also lists the following in his bio:
Hobbies Outside the Pool: fishing, Michigan Militia (a group that camps and does other outdoor activities.)
Yes, that would be this Michigan Militia!

The website hasn’t been updated for a while, so I guess I can still hold out hope that young Mr. Keller has seen the light.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tony Snow Says "We Got to Win"!

Here is an exchange from today's Whitehouse press gaggle with Tony Snow:

(emphasis mine)
Q Tony, does the deaths of 10 U.S. soldiers in Iraq today cause the President to rethink his strategy there?

MR. SNOW: No, the strategy is to win. The President understands not only the difficulty of it, but he grieves for the people who have served and served with valor. But as everybody says, correctly, we got to win.

Now we all want to win. But winning is not a F---ing strategy. Winning is a goal - a hoped for outcome.

Every football team on Sunday wants to win. The difference is some teams plan and prepare and make strategic changes at half time that help them reach their goal.

Then there are the Raiders (sorry LWJ) and this lame Bush Administration.

Our only hope seems to be if the terrorist strategy is "We Got to Lose"!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Handicapping the Senate Race.

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This chart from NYT spells out the lay of the land. Dems’ need to pick up 6 seats to gain a majority. According to NYT’s recent reporting, and what I’ve picked up from other sources, the following races have become the keys to the GOP strategy. For simplicity, I’ve listed all the candidates by the Dems’ preferred outcome. Poll info includes a range of the most recently reported outcomes.

GOP bracing to lose:

1. Pennsylvania – Casey over Santorum (Leads by 5-12%)
2. Rhode Island – Whitehouse over Chafee (Leads by 3-10%)
3. Montana – Tester over Burns (Leads by 3-7%)
4. Ohio - Brown over DeWine (Leads by 3-5%)

GOP hoping to retain:

1. Missouri – McCaskill over Talent (Leads by 0-3%)
2. Tennessee – Ford over Corker (Leads by 1-5%)
3. West Virginia – Webb over Allen (Trailing by 0-3%, but with macaca momentum!)

GOP desperately hoping to win:

  1. New Jersey - Menendez over Kean (Leads by 3-7%)


With the recent decision to divert funds from the DeWine campaign to more “winnable” races, the GOP are essentially prepared (if not resigned) to lose 4 seats. Although New Jersey is considered their best (and probably, only) hope of picking up a seat, the polls indicate it is a huge longshot. That means it probably comes down to the middle three races. Whoever wins two out of three from this group probably has the majority - with the GOP needing to run the table to avoid having to rely on Darth Cheney as a tie-breaking (and P.R.-killing!) vote.

Basically, the GOP strategy is to focus on protecting Talent, a noted Bush rubber-stamper; protecting Frist’s vacated Tennessee seat for Corker, a scandal-laden, slime thrower who may become the next DeWine, against a popular Dem House member; and protecting the slumping Allen, who has recently been shown to be a liar and a bigot, and whose oft-cited Presidential aspirations come from being tagged as “the next George Bush” (ie: a moron!)

That’s not an enviable position from which to try to retain any kind of bragging rights! In fact, by the time the dust settles on this midterm election, I suspect the majority of the American people will place more credibility in Oakland Raider owner, Al Davis’ ongoing claims that “Da Raidas” are “The Winningest Team in Professional Sports” than in any boasts the GOP will be able to muster!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brokeback White House!

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Some time ago, I wrote a post entitled Brokeback White House. At the time, I was out on a limb with some pretty wild speculation, based on bits and pieces I found in other reports – just having a little fun after Brokeback Mountain was in the news after the Academy Awards

Now, with Foleygate engulfing the GOP, the issues I raised seem a little more plausible. In fact, it is not that hard to envision a scenario where other (perhaps many) highly-placed GOP leaders are deeply closeted homosexuals, who are kept in line with the Bush agenda through fear of public revelation. I won’t go so far as to say I believe that scenario yet, but I am interested to see where the Foley story goes in the future.

I am particularly interested in the developing drama regarding statements made by Hastert Chief of Staff, Scott Palmer (shown together in this 1999 image.) Lawrence O’Donnell raises the serious questions on HuffPo, and then T-Rex takes them to a new level on Firedoglake.

At this point, I am becoming suspect of anyone that George Bush refuses to fire, or even seriously question, in the face of obvious incompetence or negligience!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Defending Foley is a Fool's Folly!

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So far, these are some of the arguments I’ve seen thrown out in defense of Mark Foley:

  1. He’s checked himself into rehab for alcoholism “and related behavioral problems.” (according to Foley)

  2. He’s not really a pedophile because he didn’t actually have inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. (according to his lawyers)

  3. He was simply sending “naughty e-mails.” (According to Tony Snow)
I’ll comment on these individually.

First of all, I think Foley may have stumbled on to the solution to the problem of overcrowded prisons in America. If “related behavioral problems” among alcoholics are best handled by alcohol rehab rather than the criminal justice system, then I guess we could probably release about half of the convicts currently clogging our prisons. How about a new catch phrase: Use a Beer, Stay Out of Jail?

Regarding the argument that he’s not a pedophile because he didn’t actually touch any underage pages, I’d be curious to know how this one flies with all of those “enemy combatants” locked up in Gitmo and other secret prisons for being potential terrorists. According to Foley’s lawyers, you can talk and plan all you want, but I guess you aren’t a terrorist until you actually blow up a building!

And as for Tony Snow’s characterization of Foley’s “naughty e-mails?” Well, this one seems to have been slipped into the conversation by the Foley camp, perhaps in the hope that Foley would be able to parlay it into a good spanking - maybe even by one of the underage pages! Sorry, but I couldn’t resist!

By the way, the image above comes from the website of the Republican Main Street Partnership, where Mark Foley was Emcee of their annual awards dinner just one week ago. Here’s what the organization’s website has to say about their policy on ethics:
The Republican Main Street Partnership is committed to improving the public perception of government. We say "perception", because the overwhelming majority of our men and women in office uphold the highest level of ethical standards.
I guess when they picked Mark Foley to be their Emcee they were forced to settle for the highest level of ethical standards they could find on “Republican Main Street!”

Monday, October 02, 2006

From the Really Creepy Department

I found a link to video of Congressman Foley paying tribute to a graduating page class - complete with tears. Courtesy of C-Span.

Obviously the House leadership took Foley's Page issues seriously, if they let him give this farewell address .............................................NOT!!!

UPDATE: C-Span pulled the clip. I can't find it anymore. I sure hope someone recorded it.

UPDATE II: found the transcript (halfway down the page) of Foley's address and it was the graduating class of 2002 not 2006. But here's a creepy passage:

I hear so much laughter here and I am glad that there is laughter,because this is a wonderful time of your life. Every time we celebrate the departure of a page class, we remember your first day here and, of course, we are here at your last. You came in very shy and meek and very polite and for the most part you have remained polite, but no longer shy and meek.