Thursday, June 30, 2005
It's because of our libertarian leanings. Sagebrush America is a place of open spaces and suspicion of government regulation - a stronghold of reform candidates and third-party challenges.
Meanwhile, Chris Bowers has done an interesting analysis of Bush's standings in each of these ten regions, concluding that while Bush is losing ground where he was already unpopular, he's actually gaining support in strongly Republican areas (how can this be, God; please tell me), and that we're becoming a nation more divided than ever before.
Maine's numbers, by the way, are static at 39% approve, 57% disapprove.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
The Daily Kos is the highest ranked political blog of any stripe, registering more than 500,000 unique hits per day. It has more than 50,000 registered users who post a collective 275-300 diaries per day. Unquestionably it has changed the nature of political dialog in this country. All in three years. Thank you, Markos.
Interesting analysis on the stagnation of the right-wing blogosphere here.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Here's something to celebrate: Independent World News is building a news network free of corporate or government sponsorship. It's the brainchild of Toronto filmmaker Paul Jay, who has put together a half-million in seed capital, an impressive advisory board, and a netroot-heavy fundraising plan for ITW's $25 million annual budget. They plan to start broadcasting in 2007.
This really is good news. Check out the website, watch the video if you have a high-speed connection, and consider making a small donation. As one visitor commented, "One day a formerly ignorant person will thank you for this."
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
UPDATE: I'm hearing calls to reframe this now. This is not a "Flag Burning Amendment." This is a "Repeal of the First Amendment." Do not use their frame!
Adds Beemer: "It's far better to uphold the Constitution and burn the flag than it is to hold up the flag and burn the Constitution."
They go on to call for a bipartisan investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission - which, they remind us, Bush initially opposed - to look at the assumptions that went into the war, how they might have been flawed, and how they have affected the "prolonged, bloody post-war period."
Bangor Daily News trumps Washington Post.
Jan Frel at AlterNet tells how this change came about:
It wasn't politics, in other words. It was compassion and integrity. I hope some other Republicans regain their sanity and souls in the face of his example.
Thanks a lot, Dick.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Saturday, June 18, 2005
The Downing Street Memo may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that George Bush told his ghostwriter in 1999 that, if given the chance, he would invade Iraq so that he could gain "political capital" may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that Bush was planning to invade Iraq during his first month in office may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that Dick Cheney's energy task force was mapping out Iraq oilfields in March of 2001 may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that Bush diverted $700 million, without the permission of congress, to Iraq war preparations in the summer of 2002 may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter stated in July of 2002 that Saddam had no WMDs, but was ignored, may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq's weapons capabilities was purposefully stripped of doubts and dissenting opinions may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that Sen. Bob Graham received a 25 page report from the CIA in the summer of 2002 that stated evidence of Saddam's WMD was inconclusive, but Graham was roundly ignored, if not outright mocked, may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that chief Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz admitted that WMDs were just a convenient excuse to convince the country to go along with the invasion of Iraq may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that coalition forces drastically stepped up bombing runs during the summer of 2002 in order to goad Saddam into war may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that 25 former CIA officers accused the President of manipulating intelligence may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that in 2002 the White House killed Pentagon plans to strike Zarqawi's camp in Northern Iraq in order to maintain the White House's claim that Iraq has ties to terrorists may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that the White House Silenced Experts Who Questioned Iraq Intel Six Months Before War may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that Vice President Cheney made numerous unprecedented trips to the CIA in order to pressure analysts may be old news
But this is new news:The fact that our tough guy of a President said in March of 2002 "Fuck Saddam, we're taking him out" may be old news
But this is new news:
Friday, June 17, 2005
- The Downing Street Memo contains nothing new. Everyone already knows that Bush lied. We don't have to report on it.
- The Downing Street Memo is of interest only to antiwar activists and ultra-lefties who want us out of Iraq.
- The Democrats are so marginalized that yesterday they "played house" in order to feel important.
- Move along, no story here.
Our job is to write the Post and maybe local papers too, using the talking points outlined in Conyers' letter. Even a one-line email to Michael Getler,
firstname.lastname@example.org will be hugely helpful.
Thank you, thank you. More tomorrow.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
The room was bristling with cameras and microphones. Nightline was there taping. CSPAN did a live broadcast and webstreaming. People crowded into the room and were forced to leave to make room for new attendees (House leaders may have miscalculated in forcing them into a small room, since it magnified the buzz effect on TV). Highly credible people said things you have not seen in print nor heard in the lofty chambers upstairs. And afterwards, Conyers set off to the White House to deliver his letter signed by
Money "near-quotes" (instant transcription; not completely accurate):
The hearing will be re-broadcast on C-SPAN 2 tonight and Friday night (6/17) at 8:00pm EST.
UPDATE: BooMan calls the hearing "a parallel world where the truth is spoken, pollsters and consultants are ignored, and no one hesitates to say that the President and his whole national security apparatus should be frog-marched into Leavenworth prison."
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Second, one source reports that every major network will be there with the exception of Fox. (They don't have to 'cause they're fair and balanced.) CSPAN-3 will broadcast the proceedings live.
Third, Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones, the conservative NC representative who has now turned against the war and is asking for a withdrawal plan, announced today that he will co-sponsor legislation calling for the truth on the Downing Street Memo.
Fourth, six additional British memos have surfaced to solidify the case against Bush with respect to lying and incompetence around the Iraq invasion.
Fifth, our stunned and clueless press seem to be waking up to the fact that they may have to cover this story, even while they cling to the defense, "it's not news because everyone already knows Bush lied, even though we never told you."
And sixth, Conyers has come up with the definitive answer to the "memo versus minutes" terminology. He's calling it the Downing Street scandal.
Some people are taking bets that we'll have a sudden terror alert tomorrow, but I prefer to be optimistic for once.
MoveOn is asking us to sign their petition to save PBS and NPR from drastic cuts. Last chance: the House Appropriations Committee votes tomorrow. And by "drastic," I mean "cut 25% of public funding for NPR and PBS immediately and 100% within two years."
He asks that we call and thank Snowe. ( Sigh.) Augusta office: 622-8292.
Despite Snowe's vote, the committee passed the enabling legislation by 11-9. Schlobohm continues:
Will keep you posted.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Sean McLauglin, Sensenbrenner's deputy chief of staff, expressed himself thusly in a note to a minority staffer: “I’m sitting here watching your ‘forum’ on C-SPAN,” McLaughlin wrote. “Just to let you know, it was your last. Don’t bother asking [for a room] again.”
Conyers is moving his Thursday forum to the DNC at this writing, though many would prefer to see it unfold in a more bipartisan locale - say, on the Capitol steps, or on the Mall with thousands of cheering witnesses.
Next task is to ensure coverage for the event. Let's drop a note or two, shall we?
See you at the hearing.
email@example.com Hannity@foxnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Ontherecord@foxnews.com
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: C-Span will be there, and there is unconfirmed news that Sensenbrenner is backing down and letting Conyers hold the event on Capitol Hill.
Just in case this story doesn't make it into your evening news, here's the scene that greeted Bush when he spoke to high school students on the Penn State campus today. Local progressives handed out flyers to more than 1,000 townspeople before and after the speech, and 100 sign-bearing regular folks turned up as well.
P.S. Did I mention that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin passed a resolution over the weekend calling for the impeachment of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld? (On account of high crimes and misdemeanors.)
Either way, they're getting the message.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Saturday, June 11, 2005
- The Bush White House let a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute re-write a government report on global warming, editing out scientific conclusions he didn't like.
- Bush's Interior Department offered to overpay a wealthy Republican donor for oil and gas rights on Everglades land that the government apparently already owns, overruling the advice of career officials.
- The Pentagon's inspector general released a report on a lucrative Air Force contract for Boeing that cost too much for planes the military didn't want. Bush, who has enjoyed generous campaign contributions from Boeing, was involved with the contract, personally asking White House aides to work out the deal and dispatching Chief of Staff Andrew Card to participate in the contract negotiations. When the inspector general's report came out, 45 sections were deleted by the White House counsel's office to obscure what several sources described as references to the Bush gang's involvement in the lease negotiations and its interaction with Boeing.
- Documents from the U.S. State Department published this week show that the president backed away from the Kyoto global warming treaty after being pressured by ExxonMobil, the world's most powerful oil company, and other industries.
- Bush officials at the Justice Department inexplicably decided to reduce its settle request with the tobacco industry from $130 billion to $10 billion, and urged government witnesses to soften their recommendations about sanctions.
- At yesterday's House Judiciary hearings on abuses of the Patriot Act, the Republican chair interrupted witnesses in mid-sentence, abruptly ended the hearing, and walked out, ordering the mikes shut off.
- A newly released Justice Department report shows that the FBI missed at least five chances to pull in two of the 9/11 hijackers in the months prior to the attack. (Which is why we should give up even more of our civil liberties in an expanded Patriot Act? Just asking.)
- 16 American and 3 Iraqi contractors were jailed at Camp Fallujah last month, where they say they were humiliated and physically abused by U.S. Marines over a period of 3 days.
Friday, June 10, 2005
UPDATE: And visit Freedom Press Handbills while you're at it.
Backstory here. If you really like sinking your teeth into things, check out the 15 corroborations that support the statements recorded in the Downing Street Memo.
- CNN, Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno. email: email@example.com phone: 202-898-7900 fax: 202-898-7923 webmail (CNN’s story idea form)
- U.S. News & World Report, Editor Brian Duffy. email: firstname.lastname@example.org [state at top: ‘Not for publication’] phone: 202-955-2000 fax: 202-955-2049
- LA Times, Readers’ Representative. email: email@example.com phone: 877-554-4000 fax: 213-237-3535
The big news now is John Conyers' DSM hearings scheduled for June 16. A word of caution, though. This morning, during hearings on extending and expanding the Patriot Act, House Judiciary chair James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) evidently didn't care for the testimony he was hearing - and simply shut down the proceedings and walked out. At the time their mikes were cut, witnesses were testifying about prisoner abuse, racial profiling, long detentions, and other civil rights infringements stemming from the existing Patriot Act. Ironic, yes. Also deeply disturbing.
UPDATE: Better media wakeup backstory here.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
But the accuracy of Dean’s comment is not the point.
This is the point:
Think. Did you ever hear a single Republican apologize on behalf of these sociopaths for these and the countless other outrages they commit against Democratic American citizens every single day of the year? No. They attack the questioner instead. They change the subject. They toss another bomb.
(Okay, this photo is an over-the top parody, but I am REALLY FURIOUS.)
So Dean makes some provocative statements. Are the wingnuts frothing at the mouth? Yes. Do we care? No. They're always frothing at the mouth; what we do makes no difference one way or the other.
Are the pundits frowning and acting all serious, talking about danger and moderation and what wise Democrats ought to do? Yes. So - and here's a test, Democrats - do we run to the nearest camera and frown, act serious, apologize, denounce, distance, and equivocate?
No. Hello! Earth to Vichy Dems: the pundits are not your friends and do not have your interests at heart. You don't have to listen to them, okay? Why don't you try listening to Harry Reid instead? Also - NEWS BULLETIN - it's not worth selling out your party to get some face time on TV just because you're thinking of running for president. And another thing: when you do it you look weak, irrelevant, cowardly, and selfish. How about you speak to Dean in private if you have a beef with him, then get on TV and rip the worst president this country has ever had?
To see a Gonzales-loving, MBNA-representing Beltway hack like Biden race to capitulate makes me sick. Even worse is the self-righteous, Bush-kissing, Iraq-war-supporting toady Joe Lieberman.
Luckily for us, Dean isn't backing down.
Sen. Biden: 202-224-5042
Sen. Lieberman: 202-224-4041
Read the rest at After Downing Street. And if you haven't already done so, sign Rep. Conyers' letter!
UPDATE: The timing is probably a coincidence, but it was 51 years ago today that Joseph Welch, legal counsel to the Army in the HUAC hearings, said those beautiful, career-ending words to Senator Joseph McCarthy. You know, "Have you no decency, sir? Have you, at long last, no sense of decency?"
- Knight Ridder, Washington Bureau Chief John Walcott. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Boston Globe, Ombudsman Christine Chinlund. email: email@example.com phone: 617-929-3020 (or 3022, to leave a message)
- Houston Chronicle, Reader Representative James T. Campbell. email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 713-220-6303