Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Right Wing’s Attempt To Swiftboat Bloggers Fails

Ever since Senator Russ Feingold made his definitive decision not to run for President in ’08, I’ve been uninspired to join the debate over who should be the Democratic nominee. Hillary Clinton leaves me cold, Barack Obama, while new and exciting, so far seems a little too much like the same old Clinton era, free trade, big business Democrat for a lefty like me. Senator “MBNA” Biden is a non-starter, Bill Richardson is still holding on to the DLC way and Al Gore refuses to enter the race. That leaves John Edwards, who talks a good game AND has just backed it up with some action.

My best friend called me yesterday, all upset and angry about the whole brouhaha surrounding the possible firing of Amanda Marcotte (of Pandagon) and Melissa McEwan (of Shakespeare’s Sister) from the Edwards campaign. My friend is a loyal reader of Pandagon and was incensed at reports that Edwards had caved to right-wing pressure (over nothing) and fired these two bloggers. If Edwards will cave to the right-wing smear machine over nothing, why should we trust that he’d stand firm when it comes to the big issues?

But John Edwards didn’t cave! He did the right thing and kept the bloggers on, proving that he truly respects free speech, understands that swiftboat attacks cannot be allowed to work and that taking the short view is not enough to gather the support necessary to win an election. Those of us that write and read blogs are not interested in the short view, we are looking to make fundamental changes in the way voters interact with our government, elected officials, campaigns and with candidates. We want our voices heard and we want to steer the debate and possibly even affect policy, and yes, sometimes we’re quite passionate about the issues and we often use strong language to express our views. Does that make us unqualified to participate in campaigns?

Blogs provide unfiltered opinion from the bottom rather than polished opinion from the top, and that is exactly why blog readership is up, while newspaper readership is down. I couldn’t be happier that John Edwards recognizes and respects the value in people powered politics, but even though he made the right choice there is still something to learn here and John Edwards should ask himself why it became so important to right-wing bloggers that Marcotte and McEwan be fired.

Sure, it could be old-fashioned jealousy, but my bet is on fear. Bush “won” two elections because voters were attracted to his “authenticity” however manufactured it was. John Kerry lost (as would Hillary Clinton I fear) because of his lack of authenticity. The American people are tired of the slick politician, they want someone real, someone that will speak their mind, show some spine, and stick to their principles, even when they’re not popular. John Edwards must be authentic and he must act in a manner consistent with his views if he is to have a shot at the Presidency. Without the fundraising ability of Clinton or the star quality of Obama, Edwards will need a groundswell of support from ordinary people, and blogs are a great place to start in building that swell.

If John Edwards had wanted squeaky clean political consultants (as if there is such a thing), he would have hired some, but he didn't. He wanted to reach the people through blogging, and he hired two of the best to help get his message out. By standing with them when they were swiftboated by the Right, he's shown us that he is authentic and he's shown the Right-wingers that swiftboat attacks won't work on John Edwards. Nice job Senator.

40 Comments:

Anonymous rkelly said...

Edwards is a member of the CFR, Trilaterals and Bilderbergs. In other words, he is one of the "elite" and no matter what he does as a "token" he can't be trusted. He voted Yes on the Iraq War. Just read (Wayne Madsen Report) the former Alaskan leader's scathing lecture to the "Dems" who voted for the Iraq War - NONE, not Hillary, et al., are "Presidential Material" for that and that alone, never mind Edwards betraying his word about the "Ohio" vote. Sure he backed the bloggers but only because it was and is an opportunity to give the appearance of "Democratic," of which he is, but the loyalty is to the democratic collapase into the NAU. We are a REPUBLIC, folks and "herein lies the rub."

Wake up America and smell the stench of what "democratic" actually means for our future. Think, act and be Republic, in this we can trust.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous david said...

The Democrats should be celebrating. They have so many wonderful candidates to choose from. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards would all make fine presidents. And I certainly hope that a combination of any two of those will form the top and bottom of the 2008 ticket.

My personal favourite is Barack Obama. I think LGND is needlessly worried that he may resemble the old Clinton gang; he does not. His story places him clearly in an FDR New Deal/Kennedy New Frontier traditon that I have no fear of him compromising his principles to serve Mammon.

I have been obsessively reading stories about Obama. They make me laugh. He's being swiftboated over the silliest things: his Grade 2 schooling and his secret vice of cigarettes. I've read that he's too white, too black, too conservative, too liberal, too young, too cosmopolitan, too corny, and too storybook. And it's the storybook I hope is true: Fate seems to have blessed him for a higher purpose.

I'm usually cynical and sarcastic. But not about Obama. I read about his childhood, about his family, about his time at Harvard, and his work among the poor of Chicago and I think: This man is America. This is who the President of the USA should be. He grew up in a mini-United Nation; he feels at home in Kansas and in Kenya.

Is it charisma? I've only seen Obama speak once: at the Democratic convention of 2004. But every story I read about him makes the hair on my neck tingle. I sense he's a Man of Destiny. And if America doesn't want him, there are others who do. I loved Julia Suryakusuma's sweet memoir of her friendship with Obama's mother during their time in Jakarta. Read it: Obama for President...of Indonesia

1:23 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

David--I need to do what you've done and read up on Obama. Like you, I feel like he's destined to be President and there is no denying that he is inspiring people and giving them hope for the future, a commodity in short supply these days.

He's intelligent, he's authentic, he's charming, he's inspiring, he's insightful and I can't think of a reason not to fall for him, just as most members of my family have already, except that I'm afraid of being blinded by the charisma. Like Jesse Jackson said, “all of my heart leans toward Barack.” I just want more details for my brain before I commit.

As far as the horse race aspect of the whole thing goes, he's my odds on favorite at this point. And he'd be great.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Messenger said...

Why don't we concentrate on saving America first before dissecting the potential strengths and weaknesses of 2008 Presidential candidates ?

In case you had noticed, our votes in November are being ignored by both parties. Republicans are still goose stepping to the beat of war drums pounded by Bushco while Democracts offer nonbinding symbolism as an excuse for not doing anything to impede their progress.

So why are you discussing who's best to vote for when the system of Constitutional democracy is so obviously broken ?

Our government was never intended to be by and for corporate wealth but a system to which guarantees the right to self determination for everyone who lives here.

Let's recapture that essence before democracy becomes a faded memory and we wind up as slave laborers for the robber barons.

Peace,
Cosmic

11:07 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Cosmic Messenger--I take your point and one of the reasons that I've been unwilling to venture into the "horse race" talk about the '08 election up to this point is that there's still so much work to do in combating this administration and their reckless disregard for what's best for this country and their dangerous pursuit of what's best for them and their friends. But I've been drawn into the discussion because it appears that even though most Americans simply wish the Bush presidency was over, there is little political will to end it early.

I still spend a lot of time combating the malaise that has set in, but sometimes I absolutely HAVE to focus on some of the more positive signs that there may be hope for the future. I simply can't write posts about impeachment every day. I can't focus solely on our broken voting system, the spiraling Iraqi civil war, the upcoming attack on Iran, the corruption in the White House, our precarious economy, the destruction of our planet and the greed that drives all of these things, without occasionally looking to the flickers of light that suggest we might survive this administration and perhaps even have a shot at repairing some of the damage.

Progress doesn't occur fast enough for me, but sometimes I have to slow down to see that there's at least some movement behind me.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous rkelly said...

Three questions for the President of 2008: (1) Shut down the illegal counterfeiting of money to create American debt slaves, the Federal Reserve System? (2) Stop the illegal money laundering of the "elite," called the Internal Revenue System? (3) Bring all the shadow governing bodies (illegal CIA, et al., etc.) Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderbergs - as well, all of the Christian Mafia, Zionists (ADL, et al), Neo-Nazis, and other "religious" front covers for the "ruling elite" as their ravenous zombies, to justice?

In other words, which 2008 Presidential Candidate is honest enough to bring America back to the Republic which it was originally?

More of the same is going to be a direct reflection of what we already have and unfortunately, Obama is also a graduate of Harvard. Go read what Francis Boyle has to say about the "Neo-Nazis" who are purposely indoctrinated at "Harvard."

Do not be seduced by "party." Be smart this time and vote for the person who is not afraid to be a non-elite.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous david said...

I am deeply distressed by the Stalinist thinking behind Cosmic Messenger's solution to the crisis in America. He declares constitutional democracy to be broken and that he wants to "recapture the essence" of democracy. It sounds distressingly like the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to me. And we don't want to go down that road again.

Of course America is being manipulated into a wider war with Iran. But Congress has already taken more oversight in the past 30 days than it had in the last 5 years. There is no point in demanding miracles when the machine has just begun to work again. Despair is the enemy. The villains in this melodrama thrive on apathy born of cynicism.

rkelly, you are too much. What a wonderful collection of wingnut conspiracy theories you embrace. Sadly, I cannot endorse Francis Boyle, as well intentioned as he is, he is a believer in the theory of Everything Happens According to a Master Plan. This is not true. I have no doubt the Neo-cons are misguided, but to say they actually planned Iraq to be a quagmire is silly.

Wingnuts love conspiracies. Both Left and Right adore cloak & dagger stuff. But most of what happens happens in the open. The White House's plan for Iran is not a secret. Nor was Bush/Cheney's desire to invade Iraq. Boyle only sullies his cause by making wild accusations, including tarring all who attended Harvard.

The reality is that democracy involves opposing forces with different visions of society. Our belief in Human Rights, Justice, Liberty, and Equality is what keeps us from Tyranny. Leo Strauss knew this, which is why his neo-con movement is both elitist and maddeningly vague. But by seeking consensus, by reaching out to others, by finding common ground and demanding fairness, we can create an Open Conspiracy for a better world.

What we need is dialogue and discourse. Christianity was actually the core of Liberalism and could be again. Judaism was once of core of Social Democracy and the Labor Movement; it could be again. Nobody buys the Protocols of Whining: People want a positive message. They want hope and a vision of a better world. Liberals and Progressives let Reagan and Bush offer that vision because they were enveloped in the Nihilism of Foucault.

We need a new Enlightenment. Fiat Lux.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Fol de rol.
Enough with theories. Screw discussion. Let's get some action going.
Plan three things you will do this year to impact the election process for your candidate.Set a time table and go do it. Fiat Lux? Fiat Facio!

8:12 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Messenger said...

David ... if you took the time to step outside of your psuedo-intellectual ego trip occasionally, you would realize no one is listening to your daily rants.

"Stalinist thinking" ... I'd rate that comment with the best of Rush Limbaugh's rightwing propaganda smears and we all know whose pet he is.

Peace,
Cosmic

11:16 PM  
Anonymous rkelly said...

LGND: go read about Ron Paul. I know, I know, he's a "Republican" and before that he was a "Libertarian."

http://www.house.gov/paul/bio.shtml

He is the only politician who is a genuine representative for the Constitution and We the People.

Every politician who is running around at this time blowing their horn to be the new President in 2008, is in my opinion, just more of the same - sell outs to the banksters, et al. Nancy Pelosi did not fool me. Her husband is a international investment banker and she is the third wealthiest member of Congress, with a net worth of $55 million. Hello, is anyone connecting the dots?

Also, study this man http://www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwin16.htm because his credentials are from "Harvard" and include a Ph.D. plus J.D. He is one who enjoys exposing hidden agendas.

Human beings who have deluded themselves into thinking they are smart, know what is going on, and can convince others that they do, are no match for true genius.

david, your greatest denial - anonymity, is not working. you are most certainly a troll. your last post proves it to me without a shadow of a doubt. you’re busted - one of the many sent out to dribble mindless chatter of seeming intelligence to hopefully confuse those who are already lost in cognitive dissonance - nothing more than one of the ravenous trolls, albeit a polished one, but with stiff controlled rhetoric that has been very carefully orchestrated to be certain and ALWAYS debunk ANY AND ALL "CONSPIRACY THEORIES."

hmmmmm, hidden agenda(s)?

the best and the brightest in Seattle are your targets, be sure to keep the young minds of hope for tomorrow "flamed" in chatter that appears to know what it's saying.

go somewhere else david, you are a boring quasi-intellectual who impresses only yourself.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous rkelly said...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?
docid=5232639329002339531&q
=FIAT+EMPIRE&hl=en

Fiat Empire - A Closer Look at the Federal Reserve

but be careful folks. david is going to be sure and convince everyone he can by way of all his carefully chosen words and impressive ideals, that it's only one of the MANY "wingnut" theories.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, what delightful comments! I'm sure we're keeping LGND well entertained. I certainly have not heard such arcane debating points since a PolySci friend dragged me a meeting of The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.

I agree with kindlingman, and I hope he's not shocked. He is right. We need action. Not the Direct Action of anarchists or fascists, but the slow and plodding actions of people who have faith in the future. It is dull work, I know, but the world falls into the hands of sociopaths because they enjoy dullness. So, persevere.

I am a socialist. Or social democrat. I believe in a mixed economy where Labour, Business, and Government interact to create the best solutions for social happiness and earthly wellbeing. And I believe in Lovelock's "sustainable retreat".

I do not consider myself some detached non-human "intergalactic voyager traversing the planets within the universe to observe the idiosyncrasies" of real people. I'm no angel; I'm a flesh & blood human. And I try hard not to demonize or deify others. That I slip sometimes has more to do with my all too human passions of anger and love.

rkelly, being rich does not make one Evil. Nor does it mean one automatically belongs to the Illuminati or the Masons or the Red-Headed League. Even the best laid plans of plutocratic elites don't work out. And History can be a fickle mistress.

Ron Paul??? Now I know you're delusional. Ron Paul is both a Republican AND a Libertarian. He's also anti-Gay, anti-Choice, and anti-Poor. He doesn't believe in Government --not even the sentiments expressed in the Declaration of Independence. He masks his social Darwinism by saying it should be a matter of States Rights. So I don't see what is liberal or progressive about someone who thinks Universal Human Rights don't exist and that if Missouri wants to reinstate segregation that's fine with him and if South Dakota wants to chain pregnant women to the kitchen stove that's okay too. Sheesh! He's a false Messiah of Liberty if I ever saw one.

The real reason Conspiracy Theories require endless study of arcane flow-charts and presumption of guilt and archaic political economic dogma is because they don't pass the test of Occam's Razor. A Conspiracy Theory tends to be like Ptolemaic Astronomy where endless imaginary epicycles are required to keep the earth at the centre of the universe.

I would also like to thank the many compliments to my writing style. I aim to please. Or provoke. Whichever comes first.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous rkelly said...

david, I don't like to pull the lineage card but my mother's second cousin Karl Marx would find your dribble so retarded that he wouldn't be as foolish as I - and waste a vowel or consonant, let alone a word.

On your pathetic lonely struggle to be heard.

Of course you don't like Ron Paul and naturally neither do your "handlers."

How busy your idle mind isn't.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous david said...

rkelly, how old is your mother? Or do you belong to some Master Race where everyone lives to be 300?

Do you deny that Ron Paul is against same-sex marriage, abortion, and welfare? That he opposes universal health care and public education?

Once the worm of conspiracy infects the brain then everyone who disagrees with a conspiracy theorist becomes a 'troll' who has 'handlers'. These 'witches' must be burned at the stake to preserve the integrity of the conspiracy theory.

I'm sorry, rkelly, but even bankers have souls and have been known to do good. That bankers often only do what is good for them is a mark of human fragility. That is why closing the income gap between rich and poor is so important: it makes it difficult to see the other as human when their worlds are so far apart.

/Now, I must report back to my handlers at JP Morgan; I'm days behind in my trollish paperwork.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

LGND.

John Edwards made a fatal error in keeping his two bloggers. All that was done was reprint what these 2 bloggers wrote. Let the NYT and WaPo reprint all these blogger's posts and see how long they last.

I love the fact that there are 1000's and 1000's of blogs out there but the writers must be able to stand by their posts. Any company that employ's individuals with a writen trail of expletives, hate-filled comments, etc. has to make a decission, do we keep the person around or can them? What do you think would have been the reaction if the target of these bloggers rants would have been blacks or jews? Do you think the reaction would have been different?

F-bomb laden rants do not impress anyone, it just shows how ignorant and shallow one is.

I say shine the light on these two bloggers. Publish all their posts and let them face the questions. No censorship, just sunshine

5:31 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

david,
I am too shocked for words.

And I support your positions here.

(but keep your powder dry for another day)

7:47 PM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, you may not recall this, but a certain Republican Vice President chastized the Democratic presidential hopeful for using cuss words in public. He got all sanctimonious about it as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.

Later, when this same Republican had been elected President, it was revealed that he taped all his Oval Office conversations. He has gone down in history as perhaps the most foul-mouthed President the USA has ever had and the phrase "expletive deleted" entered the English language.

Another Republican Vice President recently engaged a Senator in witty repartee on the floor of the Senate with the retort "F**k you!" He was not fired by the President. He wasn't even asked to apologize.

Tucker Carlson thinks Chicago Trinity United Church of Christ isn't really preaching Christianity. Tucker apparently thinks he is "actually qualified to discuss" Christian theology, but why this was he didn't explain.

And William Donohue became rather flustered and belligerent on Kudlow & Company when asked to explain his own anti-Jewish and anti-Gay comments. He was not apologetic; he was defiant. And he's the principle person calling for the firing of Edwards' bloggers.

We all know blogs are places where talk has a locker-room flavour. But if one is going to exclude these people from taking more serious jobs. shouldn't one start from the top and fire all these foul-mouthed bigots who have real power?

8:14 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

I second that notion David.

And to DRM--Let's keep in mind that these bloggers did not make bigoted comments about Catholics (as Bill Donohue did about people either Jewish or gay), but rather attacked positions of the Catholic Church and actions (and in some cases, inaction) of the Church hierarchy. Since when is it off limits to challenge what an organization (what else is a church really) stands for and how they behave in the public square? It's not as if the Catholic Church stays out of politics.

Are we secularists to simply back down, keep our mouths shut and not engage in debate with those that shroud themselves in religion and who use their holy books as the basis for their positions on public policy? There's a name for that sort of society, it's called a theocracy! Thank goodness we’re not quite there just yet.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Here's a great story about the bloggers in the Houston Chronicle:
Blue Bayou

10:36 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

david,

you don't get it. I support "sunshine". Why doesn't a major media outlet post everything these people have written and let everyone judge for themselves. Let Tim Russert read to John Edwards post after post and see what he says.

Let everyone read what these two "qualified" writers have said. Sunshine is the best medicine. No need to compare them to anyone else, others must stand by what they have said or written. Everything is fair game.

I just have a feeling why the left is so afraid is that when America sees that John Edwards has hired two that one would assume are talented and qualified are really no-talent, foul mouthed hacks you all will have your feelings hurt. America will see just how vile the internet left is and how un-serious so many left bloggers really are. I have also said, be yourself, publish your views, let America in to your world, stand up for your beliefs because when you do the right wins.

And let's remember what a VP says to a senator in a private conversation is quite different then posting on the internet. Also, if a VP uses an f-bomb to a senator I say, "good for him".

1:52 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

LGND,

Debate is fine but what these bloggers did was far from that. Let's see how their "debate" points, with the language they use, would hold up in a debate contest at any school. People who use f-bombs when "trying" to make a point just show how weak their point is. This is something called "civil discourse". Why is it news agencies and new outlets don't let f-bombs or other like words into their product? Could it be that is is a sign of ignorance.

Also, LGND, what do you think the reaction would be if instead of Christians or Catholics the bloggers posted on gays, blacks or jews? Would it be considered "debate"? I highly doubt it.

I have no problem with any one debating the Catholic Church but bring your A-game, not some elementry school, foul mouthed language with no substance.

I think Edwards would be embarrassed at just how lame these two blogger's points are and their foul mouths would be secondary.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

DRM~

"stand up for your beliefs because when you do the right wins."

How'd that work out for you last NOV?!

Could America have gotten a better snapshot of the unmitigated ass hattery of the Repug Wingnuts?

George "Maccaca Boy" Allen, Ricky "Man on Dog" Santorum,
Buh Bye! It could hardly have been a cleaner sweep of hypocrisy, selective morality, corruption and scientific illiteracy.

Denny, "I don know nuttin, predator protecin' " Hastert, won't be imposing his Neanderthal presence upon us from the Speaker's chair anymore either.

How'd ya like the "sunshine" from that deplorable affair.

If we'd all been dependent upon real sunshine from this most opaque of Administrations we'd be suffering from a National vitamin D deficiency!

G. F. Y.!

~Vice President DH

2:36 PM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, neither of the two bloggers are blogging for Edwards. They have been hired to oversee the campaign's presence in the blogosphere. If you read the "Blue Bayou" article you would know that.

The personal blogs of Pandagon and Shakespear's Sister may be 'blue', but they are hardly anti-Catholic. The foul language is largely directed at the racism, sexism and homophobia of the Church. That's not anti-Catholic. I'd say the ravings of someone like Pat Robertson who calls the Pope the AntiChrist is anti-Catholic. In fact, much of what these two bloggers said are fairly common criticism of the Church hierarchy within the Church itself.

You ask about how we'd feel if the bloggers said similar things about Gays and Jews. Well, what exactly would they be saying. I agree with most of what President Carter said in his latest book on the Palestinian Question. And he did so without using a single four letter word, but he's been jumped on by every unthinking bigot.

As for the GLBT Community, what exactly is there to complain about? I suppose I could swear a blue streak about Pastor Ted's bizarre claim that he's "cured". But here is where YOU DON'T GET IT, drm: What consenting adults do in private is none of our business.

Of course, I might joke that same-sex marriage is a wonderful instituion --But who wants to live in an institution? Or that marriage is a noose. What I can't joke about is that someone might live with another as spouse for a lifetime and then not be admitted to the Emergency Room because they weren't next of kin and were merely noted as "a close friend" in the obit and then were taxed as an heir rather than as a survivor.

Do you get it now?

5:23 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

LGND, I share your admiration of Edwards, although I'm not endorsing anyone yet.

However, your (post's) dismissal of Obama and Biden are troubling. I'm not sure where you get the connection between Obama and free trade/big business. Maybe I'm missing something.

I see plenty of authenticity and dedication to public service in Obama. With his resumé, he could've made big bucks in corporate or trial law. Instead, he worked for a church group's community outreach program for modest wages and in state government, where he certainly didn't get rich.

When it comes to Biden, you might want to keep an open mind. The man is exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced in foreign policy. We desperately need someone of those attributes right now. The next president is going to have to do massive damage control.

On domestic issues, Biden is decidedly liberal. Just look at his voting record.

Does Biden watch out for credit card outfits and some other big corporations in his very small state? Of course he does. The man's a politician, not a prelate. Had he not watched out for those businesses, his Senate career would've been over long ago. Cut the guy some slack.

BTW, if you're dead set against senators who watch out for big businesses in their state and who are ready to go to the mat for free trade and globalization, you'd better write Patty Murray off.

That's because if you write to her urging her to take a stand against free trade and globalization, as I have, you'll get a polite reply reminding you how trade is responsible for sooo many jobs in Washington, and how vital globalization is to key Washington businesses that provide sooo many jobs.

With Obama, Biden, Murray and others, you're not likely to find perfection. Good as he is, Edwards has his shortcomings too.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I see that Pandagon and Shakespeare's Sister both quit Edwards' campaign. How sad!

Of course this highlights the inherent decency of liberalism. When rightwing blogs are criticized for bigotry, racism, sexism, etcetera, they brazen out the criticism and actually become defiantly proud of their violation of others human rights. But a liberal will apologize if wrong or carefully point out why they're not wrong. And if the barage of criticism continues they accept responsibility for the controversy and offer to resign. Even when it's not really their fault.

When did anyone on the Right ever resign, accept responsibility, apologize, or repent. NEVER. Bush claimed to accept responsibility, but nothing changed. He never fires anyone and nobody resigns. The Christian Right, social conservatives, and the neo-cons know no shame. They are shameless. And they don't know the first thing about Good Manners.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

David~

I don't discount the noble ground of intellectual honesty and decency that you've staked out for Liberals.

However, I've dealt with enough
wingnuts and assorted Republican ass hats to realize that apologizing is often over rated and counter productive.

In fact I find this somewhat dated, but still relevant satirical email to be dead on:

Dear Red States:

We're ticked off at the way you've treated California and we've decided we're leaving.

We intend to form our own country and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast.

We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states
pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro choice and anti war and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home.

We wish you success in Iraq and hope that the WMDs turn up but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven

Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush

Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

We're taking the good pot too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Sincerely,
Author Unknown in New California.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Dale H, that letter was eeriely amusing. I was just reading that Gov Arnold has actually been suggesting the breakup of the USA.

I have pointed out to Americans that for the House of Representatives to have the same citizen/rep ratio as Canada & Britain there would have be 3000 members instead of 438 or whatever tiny number it is.

Logically, the USA should break up into 5 regions: New England, the South, the Great Lakes region, the Louisiana territory, and Pacifica (that is the three Pacific states plus Alaska & Hawaii).

What America has now is what is termed on Wall Street as "controlling interest". Special interests work hard to have just enough power to set the agenda or to thwart pesky oversight. It's the Enron philosophy of governance.

Sadly, the USA is entering its twilight. There is no escaping the fact that the American dollar is worthless, manufacturing is now in Southeast Asia, and, as the new UNICEF report shows, American children are the second worst off in the world --only good buddy Blair's Britain fared worse.

As someone whose country didn't fall for the "God gave us Ohio" line, I have long believed that when evangelists said Lord Jesus they really meant Great Mammon. It's amazing that a so-called Christian nation has never adopted The Golden Rule as foreign policy.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

Dale H. I am the first to say the reason the Repubs lost in Nov is becase they stopped being true conservatives. They abandoned their principles and became too comfy in Washington. The out of control spending demonstrated by the republicans and GW is ridiculous. The pandering to big business with an open border policy is not conservative. Increasing the spending by the Education dept by some huge number is not conservative. When republicans abandon the core principles of conservatism are followed (see below) republicans win and win big. The president and the republicans in congress abandoned these principles and rightfully were tossed out on their behinds.

1. Lower taxes
2. Smaller government
3. Eliminate wasteful, pork barrel spending
4. Strong national defense
5. Strong values policies that support the family and parents


p.s., I believe the Nov election was a vote against the republicans and not a vote FOR the democrats positions (because they had none). That is a key point. If you believe the American people were voting for liberal/progressive policy positions you are sorely mistaken.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

david,

You are kidding, republicans don't accept responsibility and don't resign? One of my biggest beefs with the Republicans is they cave to much. Let's see about the they don't appologive, step down or resign:

Trent Lott
Tom Delay
Tom Foley
Newt Gingrich
Robert Livingston

to name a few

10:05 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

oops, as I was writing, I listed just a few. When was the last time a Democrat ever resigned or stepped down?

let's see, a congressman has $90,000 in marked bills wrapped in foil in his freezer and he is still in Congress. Did anyone ever step down in the Clinton administration? I cannot recall. I think Les Aspin was the only one who did the honorable thing.

As far as the bloggers who finally were kicked to the curb acting honorable, they are just garden variety hacks. Their posts are hate filled and demonstrate what little talent they have.

Once again, I challenge a major media organization to publish all their posts and let everyone be the judge. I think we all know that most would view them as not worthy of being employed by any campaign.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

drm~

You've named TOO few! Just how flagrant does the ass-hattery, hypocrisy, criminal
and borderline criminal
behavior have to be
to satisfy you?

Bush said he "would take care of any leakers...".
Admittedly that's an ambiguous statement, but we KNOW that Rove, and Cheney should be
"taken care of".

The D Rep with the $90K in the fridge should be gone.
Your inability to name others going back to the Clinton
Admin tells us what exactly about the evidence or your
'research'?

Sure the election was about throwing out the Repugs, but
there were plenty of polls showing The Dems as "preferred"
when it came to congressional makeup.

1. Lower taxes......for the middle class and roll back the cuts on the upper brackets, or forego the needed expansion of the military and veterans' benefits.

2. Smaller government...More effective government. Remove FEMA from HLS.
Also, abandon the policy of strangling government with politicized agencies staffed by crony agency heads who worked in the industries they are now charged with
overseeing....."looking the other way" from.

3. Eliminate wasteful, pork barrel spending. See much concern raised by Repugs about Halliburton and the huge sums unaccounted for in Iraq?

4. Strong national defense. NEVER in the history of this Nation's wars have there been tax cuts in the midst of the conflicts. It's not just irresponsible it's an insult to all of the troops Repugs
never miss an opportunity to remind us to support.

5. Strong values policies that support the family and parents. Seems to me we've had "strong values" talk, do as I say not as I do talk, from most of the defeated and resigned Repugs you've cited.

Middle class tax relief might go a ways toward supporting those families and parents you express concern for. Maybe fewer Repugs wasting taxpayer dollars and time arguing for Gay Marriage Ban Amendments, Flag Burning Amendments, Prayer in School Amendments, which are never serious
but rather "gotcha votes" to turn against Dems who don't have the time or the patience to explain the Constitution and Bill of Rights to folks like yourself!

How DO you manage to cope with the massive cognitive dissonance that has to consume you everytime you're reminded of these inconsistencies/hypocrisies?!

11:59 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

dale h,

middle class tax cuts - GW already did this. Millions and millions and millions have been removed from the income tax rolls because of GWs tax cuts. Do you actually know what percent of the total income tax bill the bottom 50% pay? Do you know that after the GW tax cuts the richest individuals now pay a higher percentage of the total income tax bill than before he took office?

When has the government asked for less money as their "sacrafice"? I love the Dems definition of sacrafice, which is send more of your hard earned money so we can squander it.

Just announced Congressman Jefferson, of the $90,000 in the freezer fame, has been given a sport on the Homeland Security Committee by Speaker Pelosi. Good to see queen Nancy is cleaning up the corruption.

Let's recall that Rep Foley resigned after it came to light he was sending disgusting, inappropriate emails to underage pages. Congressmen Studds admits to having sex with male pages and not only does not he resign, he wins reelection and is given a Standing O on the house floor. Barney Frank's boyfriend is running a gay prostitution ring out of his home and he still serves... Should we explore some more??? Of course the infamous House bank and post office scandals come to mind. No resignations over that...

12:24 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

Dale H,

have you ever wondered why there has been many state constitutional ammendments passed recently pertaining to the social issues? Why do you think this is happening? Is it a response by the people to anything?

Come on, impress me and show you actually know what is going on.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

drm~

I do not care a rat's or a Repug's hind end about 'impressing' you.

You ridicule the Dem's version of sacrifice, but you totally ignore the
implications of tax cuts and Republican fiscal irresponsibility in general, which
you yourself singled out as one of the Republican betrayals,
on our National defense AND SUPPORT FOR OUR TROOPS.
As I said, cognitive dissonance is a bitch! But then that presumes two
fully functioning brain halves.

Who stands to benefit from the 2001-enacted Bush tax cuts in each year from 2001 through 2010. Among the key findings:
Over the ten-year period, the richest Americans—the best-off one percent—are slated to receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars. The $477 billion in tax breaks the Bush administration has targeted to this elite group will average $342,000 each over the decade.
By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent—whose average 2010 income will be $1.5 million. Their tax-cut windfall in that year alone will average $85,000 each. Put another way, of the estimated $234 billion in tax cuts scheduled for the year 2010, $121 billion will go just 1.4 million taxpayers.
Although the rich have already received a hefty down payment on their Bush tax cuts—averaging just under $12,000 each this year—80 percent of their windfall is scheduled to come from tax changes that won’t take effect until after this year, mostly from items that phase in after 2005.

In contrast, the vast majority of taxpayers have already received most of their tax cuts from the 2001 legislation.

For the four out of five families and individuals making less than $73,000 this year, three-quarters of the tax cuts—averaging about $350 this year—are already in place.
Tax cuts for the 19 percent of taxpayers making between $73,000 and $356,000 this year will grow a little over the next four years as the cuts in the upper tax rates continue to kick in, but then will dwindle thereafter. By 2010, the tax cuts for this group will be no bigger as a share of income than they are now.
As a result, freezing the Bush tax cuts at their 2002 levels would have little or no effect on 99 percent of the taxpayers, whose tax cuts are already mostly or completely “frozen.” Only the best-off one percent of the taxpayers will receive significant additional tax cuts if the rest of the Bush tax program continues to be implemented.


Republican Family Values

http://quinnell.us/politics/wiki/index.php?n=Main.RepublicanFamilyValues

I would've pasted the info from this site but scrolling through the list of Repug ass-hats was like watching the mother-ship pass by in Star Wars!

Which States have successfully circumvented Roe/Wade, placed prayer in Public schools, wheeled the Ten Commandment slab back into the courthouse,
outlawed flag burning/freedom of speech, restricted stem
cell research rather than expanded State support? I don't discount scattered
success for homophobes, excuse me "family values" voters,
with the bullshit sanctity of marriage act in some States.

Also, can you explain this puzzlement to poor, uninformed me? Why is it that, with few exceptions, THE most loudmouthed family values, support our troops mf's never came any closer to a uniform than when they opened the door to buy cookies?

It's not just a recent phenomenon either. Look at the newly elected congressmen as well as those who've been around a decade
or two or three. Not for nothing has the term
"chickenHawks been coined
to describe....REPUBLICANS. Here's another long list of "send someone else's
kid" Repugs: http://www.chickenhawkcards.com/

3:23 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

This column by a liberal pretty much sums up what I have been trying to state with regards to this topic. I find it to be a very good column by someone who I would not normally agree with.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0207/2787.html

9:52 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

Dale,

What part of, "the total share of the income tax burden paid by the rich actually has gone up" don't you get. Meaning, if the top 1% were paying 34% of the total tax burden they are now paying a higher percentage of the total tax burden.

Quoting total dollars is meaningless and stupid. If a person making $25,000 a year goes from paying $2,500 dollars a year to paying $0 dollars a year he has had his taxes reduced to 0 with a $2,500 tax cut, a 100% redution. If a person making $10,000,000 see's their tax bill go down from $2,000,000 to $1,900,000 their tax bill was reduced by 5% or $100,000. Now the wealthy person's tax break is 40 times that of the person making $25,000 so in your world that is bad. The problem is you cannot reduce someones taxes below 0, that is why using the total dollar argument of the tax cuts is silly.

The facts are quite simple regarding the Bush tax plan:

1. Millions of low income people now pay NO taxes who were previously paying taxes
2. The percentage of total income taxes paid by the richest has GONE UP, making the it a more progressive tax system
3. Total revenue from income taxes IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH. Hmmm, lower taxes, higher revenue, how is that possible? In your world it isn't, in the real world it is.

One final thing regarding your post, you said

"You ridicule the Dem's version of sacrifice, but you totally ignore the implications of tax cuts and Republican fiscal irresponsibility in general, which
you yourself singled out as one of the Republican betrayals" The problem is tax cuts and fiscal responsibility are two independent topics and not related.

Tax cuts affect the money coming in side of the budget, fiscal responsibility affects the money going out side of the budget. As I stated, the federal income tax take (total money coming in) is AT AN ALL TIME HIGH. The problem is on the money going out side of the equation. On this side of the equation the republican congress and GW receive an F.

You need to take some basic economic classes to understand that taxes are not a zero sum game. Allowing individuals TO KEEP more of their money does not mean a poor person becomes poorer.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

Dale H,

your whole "chicken hawk" diatribe is a perfect example of the ridiculousness coming from the left. Is it possible for you to debate issues without tearing those who you oppose down?

I challenge you, try and go a week in your posts without name calling, questioning of motives, hatred or other abusive language. God how I would love to see you try and pull these name calling stunts during a formal college level debate contest. The slap down you would get would be something to watch

10:14 AM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, your tax theory makes no sense at all. Voodoo economics don't make it in the real world.

You can't offer opinion on matters of fact and cite no references.

And don't try the bait & switch with whining about marginal rates of income tax when that is not how most upper income earners actually accumulate wealth.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

drm~

Three points covered below, and then I'll await your final bloviations on your holier than thou, family values wingnutistanian Party.

"your whole "chicken hawk" diatribe is a perfect example of the ridiculousness coming from the left."...."God how I would love to see you try and pull these name calling stunts during a formal college level debate contest. The slap down you would get would be something to watch."

What specifically is ridiculous about citing the documentable lack of guts shown by most Republicans
when it was there time to fight, or at least show up?

And where do I go for this "debate"? Bob Jones U., Pepperdine, or Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL? Actually I live about 3 miles south of
Northwestern...no likely 'slapdowns' there or, 15 miles further south
at the U. of Chicago. Not enough Straussians left there to give me much of a challenge!

At the first 3 'institutions' I would read, without fear, what I've copied below. 'Slap down'? Please.
All I would be greeted with would be a nervous shifting in the seats as I challenged the ignorant and oblivious 'let's let you and him fight', "I've got other priorities (Dick Cheney), chickenhawks like yourself.

You can spout all the 'family values' rhetoric that you like. In the cold light of day
it's empty moralizing......without regard to consequences....Dubya style, all hat and no cattle
crap!

Go ahead, have at the SUBSTANCE of what you read below.
And no apologies for the satire, sarcasm and ridicule that your
statements have earned from me.


Do you consider it to be a 'family value' to serve your
Country? If unable to serve, do you not feel a responsibility
to hold accountable those who commit our troops to war?
Specifically, for ginning up reasons for an 'optional' war, overlooking
the advice of the military for appropriate force levels, under equipping
those forces both with an inadequate plan for the aftermath
as well as adequate armor protection....to this day?

http://thinkprogress.org/
‘Slow Bleed’ Conservatives Voted Against Billions In Equipment For U.S. Troops
The right-wing has begun a coordinated effort to smear Iraq war critics by describing their legislative plan as a “slow-bleed strategy.”

If only their rhetoric matched their voting record. In October 2003, as insurgent violence in Iraq was growing and military equipment shortages were becoming increasingly problematic, Rep. David Obey (D-WI) proposed an amendment shifting $3.6 billion to pay for better equipment and other quality-of-life measures for U.S. troops. Not one of the five voted for it.

That’s a real recipe for “slow bleed.”


Your 'holy grail' of tax cuts, without regard to consequences, has
left returning veterans with inexcusable shortages of services. Why is that story left out of all this 'support the troops, hypocrisy.
Why is it not a 'family value' to focus attention, effort and yes, funds, on this problem?
Because what are 'family values' to you, are to me the
christofacist rants and empty rhetoric of the blind ideologues and chickenhawks!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172.html

Has there ever been a stronger force for anti-science & anti-intellectualism, in both
word and action, than that exhibited by this six year iteration of the Republican Party?
No fair mentioning the Dark Ages, although pre-Enlightenment thinking is
the intellectual heritage and hallmark for Republicans.

Are the "intelligent design" proponents from YOUR party equivalent to
the 'crazy uncle' in the basement, or do you embrace them?
Texas Republicans are anti-Copernicus
by kos
Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 09:01:50 AM PST
Wow. Just when you think Republicans can't get any crazier, we find out that the powerful chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, Warren Chisum, doesn't even believe that the earth revolves around the sun.

Still, it's enough to set the world a-spinning that the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the most powerful committee in the House, distributed to legislators a memo pitching crazed wingers who believe the earth stands still -- doesn't spin on its axis or revolve around the Sun -- that Copernicus was part of a Jewish conspiracy to undermine the Old Testament.

Head on over to FixedEarth.com, and you'd swear this was a parody site.

Levitating Globe

"An electromagnet and computerized sensor hidden in its display stand cause the Earth to levitate motionlessly in the air."

Could God have engineered something like that for the real Earth?

The Bible and all real evidence confirms that this is precisely what He did, and indeed:

The Earth is not rotating...nor is it going around the sun.

The universe is not one ten trillionth the size we are told.

Today’s cosmology fulfills an anti-Bible religious plan disguised as "science".

The whole scheme from Copernicanism to Big Bangism is a factless lie.

Those lies have planted the Truth-killing virus of evolutionism

in every aspect of man’s "knowledge" about the Universe, the

Earth, and Himself.

Take your time.

Check it all out.

Decide for yourself.

Hooookaay.

Warren Chisum doesn't just believe this crap, but is evangelizing it. He may very well be the craziest winger in all of elected politics. I bet even Roy Moore believes that the earth revolves around the sun.

And this guy chairs one of the most powerful committees in the Texas legislature.



Evolution fight goes to the polls

School board members at center of evolution trial face fierce challenges
The Associated Press
Updated: 5:44 p.m. CT Nov 1, 2005
DOVER, Pa. - A battle over a policy requiring that ninth-graders in this rural community learn about "intelligent design" in biology class is being fought on two fronts — one political, one legal.

In a federal courtroom in Harrisburg, 20 miles away, a judge is hearing arguments in the sixth week of a landmark trial over whether the concept can be introduced in public school. The non-jury trial is expected to conclude Nov. 4; it is unclear when the judge will issue a decision.

At the polls in Dover, voters will render their decision Nov. 8 on whether to retain eight of the nine Dover Area School Board members — all Republicans — or replace them with a Democratic slate whose platform calls for removing intelligent design from the curriculum.

Republican voters outnumber Democrats in the district nearly 8-5. But party affiliation may not matter in the election: While the challengers are running on the Democratic ticket, half of them are actually registered Republicans, according to a spokesman.

Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by some kind of higher force.

The school board voted a year ago to require students to hear a statement about intelligent design before learning about evolution. The statement says Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps."

Eight families sued to have intelligent design removed, contending that it is biblical creationism in disguise and therefore violates the constitutional separation of church and state.


Around town, one billboard erected by the current school board exhorts voters to "support academic freedom." The challengers — supported by a group called Dover CARES, for Dover Citizens Actively Reviewing Educational Strategies — tout themselves as "the right choice for a new school board."

A similar dispute is unfolding in Kansas, where the state Board of Education is considering adopting language — sought by advocates of intelligent design — that suggests there are weaknesses in the theory of evolution. The board is set to vote Nov. 8.

One of the Pennsylvania plaintiffs, Bryan Rehm, is also running for the school board. "A lot of people in the community are fed up with intelligent design either way. They'd like for it to go away," he said.

Vincent Farrell, a retired Agway store manager, said he is leaning heavily toward keeping the incumbents and sees nothing wrong with making students aware of intelligent design.

"I think that to sue the Dover school board over this is overkill," said Farrell, 69. "There are a lot of closed minds, from what I've seen."

Saundra Roldan, a preschool teacher at the YMCA, is planning to vote for the slate of challengers. Even if the courts side with the school board, "we as voters and taxpayers should say, 'You put us into this mess and we're not happy about it and we want you out of here.'"

"It should not have come to that point," Roldan said as she took a break from reading her Bible.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

drm~

Not a peep from you?
Your imaginary 'college debate' is as fanciful as your arguments.

Please attempt a coherent, defensible response to this:

Support the Troops...?
by DarkSyde
Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 04:31:40 AM PST
Bush loyalists have about the strangest definition of supporting the troops ever coined. For this White House, Support the Troops apparently means "don't criticize our breathtaking stupidity and extraordinary arrogance in hastily sending off these men and women to get killed and maimed looking for nonexistent weapons in a nation that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks" ... In that metric, "The Troops" are being used as human political shields. But, hopefully, taking care of wounded vets is something we can all get behind, Or maybe not:

WaPo - Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February ...

More on HuffPo, including video clips of Paul Rieckhoff of the IAVA and Jon Soltz from VoteVets, on MSNBC's Hardball and Countdown, respectively.

I challenge the conservative bloggers and the Bush base to get all over their elected reps, and get these veterans the resources they need and deserve, lickety-freakin-split. Don't whine, don't attack the media, just get it done. If you can't even do that, then you support nothing, least of all "the troops."

Go ahead, drm, visit a VA center and inspect the consequences of your sacrosanct tax cuts.

But no, that would take the proverbial guts that your side of the political spectrum so spectacularly lack.

9:23 AM  

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