Friday, August 31, 2007

Karl Rove Op-ed: Bush Is Awesome

Karl Rove wrote an op-ed in the National Review praising his former boss. Nothing surprising there. I do have to take excemption with this piece of bullshit.

President Bush took decisive action, cutting taxes and ratcheting down this spending.

Below is a chart of how nondefense spending increased 28 percent under the Decider's leadership.

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It's always fun to read Glenn Reynolds getting bitchy after he is fact-checked.

ANOTHER UPDATE: If the Foreign Policy folks had taken the time to read this post closely, they'd have realized that I was being snide, not "breathless." Breathlessness is not my, er [Idiom, sir? -- ed. Yes, that's it.] idiom. Continuing in that vein, I should note that it's a different bunch of hapless weapons inspectors who are in charge of the Iranian nukes. And a bang-up job they're doing, too . . . .

I realized a long time ago that Reynolds uses the "I'm kidding" defense when his obvious errors are pointed out.

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More Florida Primary Fun

Political consultant Victor DiMaio and attorney Michael Steinberg have named the Democratic National Committee and the Florida Democratic Party as defendants in a lawsuit. Both are registered Democrats. They have asked the U.S. District Court in Tampa if it is legal for Florida delegates to be disenfranchised from the Democratic National Convention.

"Personally, my greatest fear is we end up with no delegates at the convention," DiMaio said during a news conference. "We have no say in determining who's going to be the next Democratic candidate for president."

The Democratic nominee will probably assert his or her influence on Howard Dean. It is unlikely that the DNC will say no to the possible future President. However, I have learned never to bet against Florida fucking up an election.

Steinberg wants to court to come to a decision before the deadline. It's unlikely a judge will rush a decision that has national consequences.

Florida House Minority Leader Dan Gelber wrote this letter to Howard Dan.

Today, toe-tapping Republicans with their excesses and over-reaching, are imploding on the national stage. Leave it to Democrats to create a distraction born out of a nuanced disagreement over some arcane party rule. The truth is our disagreement today isn't about some principled belief as the primary schedule is hardly premised on some inviolate notion of fairness. On all things important – protecting public education, providing quality health care, defending the middle class – we are in lock step. So let's try to avoid creating another "ooops I did it again" moment, and focus on positioning our party for a 2008 victory. You can be certain that the Republicans view our flare-up as a welcomed opportunity to gain an Election Day advantage. We should all be cognizant of that, and make sure, whatever we do and say, that winning in November remain our priority.

Two things:

1. I'm sure the Republicans want the Democrats to implode in Florida.

2. I'm not certainly that Florida will lean Democrat in 2008. Bill Nelson and Alex Sink are the only Democrats whom won statewide races. Nelson beat Katherine Harris. He would have been unemployed if Jeb Bush or Charlie Crist ran as his opponent.

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The Daily 15

Kenneth Quinnell runs through the Daily 15 on Florida Progressive Radio.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fred Thompson To Make Announcement

Fred Thompson will announce his candidacy for President on September 6, 2007.

“I believe that there are millions of Americans who know that our security and prosperity are at risk if we don’t address the challenges of our time; the global threat of terrorism; taxes and spending that will bankrupt future generations, and a government that can’t seem to get the most basic responsibilities right for its citizens,” stated Fred Thompson.

“The response that we’ve received makes me confident that we have an opportunity to change politics in Washington and across the country, and take on these challenges the way every generation of Americans has faced the challenges of their time – with unity, hard work and a belief that we will come out on the winning side,” continued Thompson.

There is nothing fresh about that message. That comes straight from Republican Candidate 101. Thompson has other problems Christian Right kingmaker James Dobson can't stand him.

"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.

Thompson was part of the defense fund fund for the convicted felon Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Thompson posted a poor fundraising quarter. He also has a long career as a lobbyist.

Let's be real. Republicans are going to wake up and realize the flip-flopping Mitt Romney is their best option. Thompson started too late. McCain's campaign is a joke. Giuliani is shrill and too socially liberal. Romney is building a state by state machine of campaign workers. He can dip into his personal savings to fund his campaign. He also looks the part. He may be dumb, but that hasn't stopped anyone from getting elected to public office.

Conservatives will cringe at a Romney nomination. They won't hesitate to vote for him over Hillary. A Thompson candidacy will put people to sleep. Just listen to the man talk.

Click to play

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"There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today."

John McCain

McCain has an interesting concept of how safe Baghdad is. He was fortunate enough not to fly the unfriendly skies with Senator Mel Martinez.

A military plane bearing three Republican senators -- including Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida -- dodged three shots Thursday as it left Baghdad, according to an interview of Martinez released by his office.

No one was hurt in the attack, which occurred five minutes after the plane took off from the Iraqi capitol, Martinez said. He added military personnel believe the three shots were RPGs, or rocket-propelled grenades.

A near death experience isn't going to stop Martinez from being a Bush loyalist. Martinez said, "incredibly significant progress has been made on the military front." Is he talking about the U.S. military or Iraqi insurgents?

Republican Senators Richard Shelby and James Inhofe were also aboard.

There was no direct identification of the forces on the ground, but Shelby said there was no doubt in his mind they were enemy insurgents.

"The place we were flying over is pretty dangerous with dangerous people. I know it wasn't our people," he said.


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Bad Poetry

This has to be some of the worst poetry I have ever read.


Write A Caption: Brownie & Chertoff

Michael Brown & Michael Chertoff

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Racist Quote of the Day

"Are we going to get there and be greeted by somebody holding out for us a nice warm bowl of chop suey and chopsticks?"

Dave Weldon, R-Indialantic, on China's plans to go to the Moon.

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O'Reilly & Storms Have No Shame

This is sickening. Bill O'Reilly and Ronda Storms exploit the death of Sgt. Ronald Harrison. O'Reilly makes shameful false claims against Judge Manuel Lopez and Storms does nothing to refute them.

We've got him now. Keep him in. And not only does Judge Lopez, Senator, say I'm going to give him bail, he gives him some $150 bail. Come on. I mean, you know, fine — everybody makes mistakes, including judges, but this is a colossal mistake. Inexplicable mistake, is it not?

Judge Lopez originally revoked Michael Allen Phillips's bail. He was in jail for 4 months. The defense attorney successfully argued that the state had a weak case. Lopez set Phillips's bail at $30,000.

Harrison's murder was a horrible tragedy. I don't for a second think Storms or O'Reilly give a damn about it. Their public temper tantrums do not suggest that they are the Christians they profess to be. A rationale debate about how to keep dangerous criminals off the street is good. O'Reilly and Storms aren't interested in rationale discourse when they have to resort to making up facts. Storms wants national airtime and O'Reilly wants to give red meat to his viewership. That is all they care about.

O'Reilly and Storms should stick to fighting the imaginary war against Christmas.

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Quote of the Day

"Buddy does not understand technology. He is a cook with a degree in religion, not someone with proper training."

Candidate Lee Nelson on opponent Buddy Johnson's qualifications as Supervisor of Elections. Johnson is the former co-owner of the BuddyFreddys restaurant chain.

Nelson has a Facebook group supporters can join.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry Craig Days In the Senate Are Over

Florida Republicans Ginny Brown-Waite and Jeff Miller are calling on Larry Craig to step down.

"For the sake of the institution, his family, and his Idaho constituents, Larry Craig should step down from the United States Senate," says Spring Hill Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite

It's amazing how members of the Florida GOP are vocal about a Republican from Idaho, but are silent about the Sunshine State's Bob Allen.

In related news: John McCain calls for Craig's resignation.

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Please Not Michael Chertoff

Word is Michael Chertoff is the leading candidate to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. It is easy to see why Bush would pick Chertoff. Here is a man who will not let things like the Constitution get in the way of pleasing his boss. Chertoff would provide the same problems that marked Gonzales's tenure.

Chertoff is also an incompetent manager. Shakes has a several quotes that shows how embarrassing the man is. His ineptitude in handling Katrina was all excuses and no accountability.

"I Was Very Disturbed to Learn Early Tuesday Morning That There Had Been a Substantial and Irreparable Breach"

"I Have Not Heard a Report of Thousands of People in the Convention Center Who Don't Have Food and Water"

"Well, I Said in July Before Katrina That We Had a Lot More Work to Do in Preparedness and I Think That Was Borne Out, Obviously, A Month Later"

"Essentially the Lake Was Going to Start to Drain into the City. I Think That Second Catastrophe Really Caught Everybody By Surprise"

"One of the Things I Said Was We're Racing the Clock. Unfortunately, the Hurricane Beat Us"

Finally, my favorite quote.

"Mike Brown Has Done Everything He Possibly Could to Coordinate the Federal Response to This Unprecedented Challenge. I Appreciate His Work, as Does Everybody Here"

There is this lie that Chertoff told on Meet the Press.

"Tuesday morning I opened newspapers and saw headlines that said New Orleans dodged a bullet."

There were never numerous newspaper headlines stating that New Orleans "dodged a bullet." What journalists should have asked Chertoff if he gets his disaster management information from the media.

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Jim Naugle Voted Off Tourism Development Council

Via the Florida Progressive Coalition: Broward County commissioners voted Mayor Jim Naugle off the Tourism Development Council.

County commissioners accused him of jeopardizing the area's multibillion-dollar tourism industry. They said Naugle forced them to take the unprecedented step of stripping him of the job when he ignored warnings to stop his attacks.

Since Naugle made his initial allegations about rampant gay sex in public restrooms nearly two months ago, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has been deluged with hundreds of angry e-mails from tourists. Some said they had canceled vacations, while others threatened to go elsewhere.

Naugle is unrepentant.

"Sometimes the easiest thing to do when you don't want to hear something is to shoot the messenger, but that doesn't mean that there is not a problem out there that needs to be addressed," Naugle said.

"Let's do the right thing. Let's throw him off this council," said Commissioner Ken Keechl.

The message is hurting the local economy. Politicians will quickly jump into action when the bottom line is affected.

Commissioner Stacy Ritter on backlash against Naugle's comments

Commissioner Ken Keechl voicing support in voted Naugle off TDC

Keechl: Let's do the right thing

Commissioner Suzanne Gunzberger on tolerance

Finally, Charlie Crist has no comment on the Naugle controversy. A true profile in courage.

Charlie Crist video

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Scat Crotch Fever

Image Hosted by

I've still been busy finishing up some personal projects and haven't done much cartooning lately, but I found a little time for this one. Heading into the fall, I'll be back to the old drawing board regularly. Meanwhile, enjoy the linkage!

Satirical Political Report

The Aristocrats with the latest in action figures. (97 days until Zappadan!)

10 Zen Monkeys, by way of Skippy



Crooks and Liars on Ted Nugent


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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rev. Wiley Drake Prays For Misfortune to Befall Others

Mike Huckabee has an overly-enthuisatic supporter in Rev. Wiley S. Drake. The Reverend is a major player in the Baptist Church. Wiley has stole a page from the Pat Robertson playbook and prayed for his enemies to be physically harmed.

But then the Rev. Wiley S. Drake, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., urged his supporters to use Psalm 109 to focus prayers directed at the "enemies of God" - including the leaders of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Drake was urging the use of imprecatory prayer - prayers for another's misfortune or for vengeance against God's enemies. Now such prayer is the talk of blogs and letters to the editor.

Drake's targets were Barry W. Lynn, Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Drake has used his radio show and a church letterhead to endorse Huckabee. The AUSCS has asked the IRS to pull Drake's tax exemption. Non profit organizations are not allowed to openly endorse or support political candidates.

Huckabee made a mild rebuke against Drake.

"The saving of souls rather than the damning of them would tend to be more my hope," he said.

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Follow the Parsons Corp Money Train

Meet Earnest O. Robbins II. He is a former Air Force Major General. He was appointed as Vice-President of the infrastructure and technology group of Parsons Corp. Robbins was placed of a $75 million contract to build a police academy in Baghdad. He ended up building (literally) a house of shit.

In a report released yesterday, inspectors found that the Baghdad Police College posed a health risk after feces and urine leaked through the ceilings of student barracks. The facility, part of which will need to be demolished, also featured floors that heaved inches off the ground and a room where water dripped so heavily that it was known as "the rain forest."

The academy was intended as a showcase for U.S. efforts to train Iraqi recruits who eventually are expected to take control of the nation's security from the U.S. military. But lawmakers said yesterday they feared it will become a symbol of a different sort.

Robbins is paid on a cost-plus contract. Meaning the more tax dollars he can suck out of the federal government for Parsons the more he makes. Congressman Chris Van Hollen posed this question to Parsons about his shitty contract work. Will Parsons Corp reinsurse the government?

Van Hollen is mumbling, "and say, given what has happened in this project . . . "

"No, sir, I will not," you snap.

". . . 'We will return the profits.' . . ."

"No, sir, I will not," you repeat.

Van Hollen said, "It just shows the contempt they have for us, for the taxpayer, for everything."

Parsons Corp only completed 20 of the 142 health centers they were contracted to build in Iraq. The government ran out of money to continue funding the project. The original contract was for $200 million. Their contracts with the Pentagon totaled $4 billion.

Maj. Gen. William H. McCoy Jr., commander of the corps' Gulf Region Division, said that the "loss of business for Parsons in Iraq may not be over [as] a broad review of Parsons' work in Iraq had turned up problems in sector after sector. According to news releases on the Parsons Web site, the company has received contracts worth as much as $4 billion in Iraq ... for building and refurbishing scores of police stations, border forts, fire stations, courthouses, prisons and Iraqi government buildings. 'We found overruns in almost every case,' General McCoy said.

Under the Bush administration, private contractors view the federal government as a free ATM machine. They take money out and never have to put any in.

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Rare Greg Dulli Tracks

Twilight Singers bassist Scott Ford has posted rare Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers tracks on his blog. You can hear the tracks at Megaupload.

TS - Dead to Rights (Live)
TS - Decatur St (Live)
TS - Underneath the Waves (Live)
TS - Umbretta (Live)
TS - Layla Coda (Live)

AW - Ooh Child (Studio - Five Stairsteps cover - Uptown Avondale Sessions)
AW - Blame, Etc (Live)
AW - If There’s a Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go) (Live)
AW - Creep (Studio)
AW - Lost in the Supermarket (Studio)

TS - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down/Candy Cane Crawl (Live)
TS - They Ride (Studio)
TS - Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair (Studio)

Underneath the Waves is the best song written about post-Katrina New Orleans.

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Jon Ausman vs. Florida Democratic Party

Jon Ausman is a Florida representative of the Democratic National Committee. He has released an email that is critical of Florida Democrats aiding Republicans in moving the primary date up to Jan. 29th.


Dear Friend:

On 25 August 2007 three DNC Members from Florida - State Chair Karen
Thurman, former State Chair Terrie Brady and former two-term Vice-
Chair Jon Ausman - were given the opportunity to present the Florida
Democratic Party´s (FDP) delegate selection plan to the Democratic
National Committee (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC).

Karen Thurman spoke about the efforts by Democratic legislators to
prevent the Republicans from moving the primary before the 5 February
cutoff date. Jon Ausman spoke of the difference between primaries
and caucuses. He noted that primaries have 6,700 voting locations,
caucuses only 50 to 150. That 24,000 active military who were
Democrats cast absentee ballots in 2004 along with 105,000 civilians.
They would not get an opportunity to vote in a caucus. Terrie Brady
spoke about the municipal elections scheduled for 29 January and that
the property tax referendum was on the same ballot.

National news coverage of Florida´s presentation was covered by C-
SPAN. Two national networks provided coverage. The hyperlinks for
this coverage are provided below.

The staff of the RBC distributed a document, a copy of which is
attached as a .pdf file, which undermined the argument that the
relevant elected officials made a good faith effort to stop the
presidential preference primary from being moved from March into
January in violation of the DNC Rules. This memorandum clearly
showed that:

1.Florida Democratic Legislators sponsored the
bill to move the primary to January 29th;
2.Florida House Democratic Legislators voted in
committee three times for the bill to move the primary to January 29;
3.All but one Florida House Democratic Legislator
vote on the floor to move the primary to January 29; and,
4.Florida House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber
stated, after receiving a call from DNC Chair asking for help in
opposing setting the primary date before February 5, "I don´t
represent Howard Dean."
5.Florida House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber
stated, after offering an amendment to move the primary to February
5th, that the only reason he offer it was "to show that there was an
attempt to state within the Democratic Party rules." The amendment
failed on a voice vote with no debate being offered.
6.Florida Senate Democratic Legislators voted in
committee to move the primary to January;
7.Florida Senate Democratic Leader Steve Geller
stated on the Senate floor that he was offering an amendment to move
the primary to February 5 only because he was threatened by DNC Chair
Howard Dean. Sen. Geller than mocked his own amendment which failed
on a voice vote without any debate.

After Florida´s presentation, RBC Member Ralph Dawson moved a motion
that did the following:

1.Found that the FDP Delegate Selection Plan was
in non-compliance;
2.Gave the FDP thirty (30) days to submit to the
RBC a Delegate Selection Plan that is in compliance; and,
3.If a plan meeting the timing requirement (the
first step of delegate selection occurs on 5 February or afterwards)
then Florida will be stripped of all unpledged and pledged delegates.

After debate and discussion, the RBC passed the motion by a vote of
23-1 (City Commissioner Allan Katz of Florida was the only dissenting

This gives the FDP two choices. It can:

1.Ignore the DNC RBC and hope that the Democratic
National Convention Credentials Committee will seat its delegates;
2.Submit a delegate selection plan which allows
Democrats to either caucus or meet in convention to select delegates
to the Democratic National Convention.

Earlier this year I supported a caucus plan to select delegates. The
State Executive Committee and Florida´s DNC Members voted to use the
primary on 29 January as the first determining step for delegate
selection. I argued strongly to support this position before the DNC

The Democratic National Committee has the right to set a window which
divides the four states - Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South
Carolina - which can select delegates before 5 February from all the
other state selection processes.

The Florida Legislature, with strong and active Democratic support,
moved the primary before 5 February to 29 January. This was not done
by Republicans over protesting Democratic legislators. The
Democratic legislators voted in five separate committees and in two
floor actions for the bill.

Some have attempted to state that Democrats only voted for the bill
because of the requirement to have voting machines with paper
ballots. That is not an accurate and true statement.

In fact, Democratic Legislators actively support the 29 January
primary in a number of votes before it was merged into the general
election bill. This was most unfortunate because by doing so the
FDP could no longer argue that we made a "good faith effort" to stop
the move by Republicans because in fact it was a bi-partisan move.

A caucus will allow us to have a full delegation. A caucus will mean
a Democratic voter in Florida has the same value as a Democratic
voter in Iowa or Nevada.

A caucus will allow us to collect tens of thousands of email
addresses, yardsign locations and cars to put bumperstickers on.

The DNC has made a generous offer to help offset the cost of the
caucuses by offering the FDP $880,000 to help pay for some of the
costs. The DNC has not offered a single other state any funds and in
the past has never offered any monies to any state.

When elected officials blatantly blame the DNC for enforcing its
rules and ignore the complicity of Florida Democratic elected
officials in creating this situation they are not serving the
Democrats of Florida well. They may get headlines, they may get
support, but they are being demagogues rather than leaders.

It is time for leadership. We represent the Democrats of Florida and
since our legislative Democratic elected officials have failed us, we
need to make sure that their votes, in caucuses, count.

We have 27 days to get the job done. Lets get to work together and
come up with a plan which will allow presidential candidates to
campaign in Florida and receive delegates.

Lets make sure the presidential candidates know they are going to get
delegates so they work to excite our Democratic voters. A caucus is
an opportunity to build a viable, active party for November 2008.

If you have any questions, please either write me or call me at (deleted by editor).

With respect, I am,

Jon M. Ausman, Member
Democratic National Committee

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Giuliani's Firewall

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post reports on a leaked Powerpoint presentation from the Rudy Giuliani campaign. America's Mayor is targeting Miami and congressional districts. Giuliani's people are hoping to pick up delegates by winning districts.

"Florida is the firewall" proclaims the second slide of the presentation which, by in large, is aimed at outlining the goals of Giuliani's effort in the state -- which is slated to hold a primary on Jan. 29. The slide goes on to highlight two press reports: the first, from the Associated Press, notes that Giuliani has "adopted an unorthodox campaign itinerary....lavishing attention on Florida."; the second, from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, points out that "Giuliani's strategy is to win delegate rich Florida to catapult him." The next slide notes that Giuliani's average lead in national polling is seven points but his average lead in Florida is 14 points.

The camaign is playing down the Powerpoint. It's rather obvious that Giuliani wants Florida to catapult to the Republican nomination.

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Cat Blogging: White Panthera Tigris

Cute, but don't try petting them.

Lee Nelson Running For Hillsborough County Super of Elections

Blog Florida Blue

Democrat Lee Nelson will official announce his candidacy for Supervisor of Elections tomorrow.

This Wednesday, August 29th at 11:00 a.m., I will formally announce my run for Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections. The site for this announcement is the Town 'N Country Library, 5455 W. Waters Avenue, Suite 208, Tampa 33634.

This date was selected for its historic commemoration - the day Buddy Johnson announced he lost 245 votes in early voting in 2004!

Please come - we will have an area for live blogging, should you desire to do so.

Lunch will follow at Bucca di Beppo. Maps will be given out at the library.

Hillsborough County needs a responsible SOE. Buddy Johnson. Polling stations had violations under Johnson's watch. Johnson also screwed up the petition count for the Hillsborough County Mayor ballot. The list goes on and on.

There will be an area for liveblogging at Nelson's press conference.

Good luck to Nelson.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Ryan Adams - Rip Off

Rip Off is my favorite song from the new Ryan Adams new album. Performed at Tabernacle, ATL, 2006.

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FPR Interview With Sean Shaw

Florida Progressive Radio has an interview with Sean Shaw. He is running Florida State House district 8 seat.

Sean Shaw campaign website

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FDP Punished

The Florida Democratic Party is maintaining a tough stance. Congresswoman Kathy Castor told Karen Thurman to "stay the course." Senator Bill Nelson gave Thurman similar advise.

The FDP has 30 days to change it's selection process. Short version: the Democratic National Committee wants to a caucas held later. The January 29th primary will be cancelled. The DNC has already informed the Florida democrats that they will not be allowed to have delegates at the convention if they hold the primary.

Update: Kos weighs in:

Does anyone really think that Democrats will disenfranchise the delegates of a large swing state, whether it's Florida or Michigan?

The DNC is powerless. All it has is bluster. And as soon as we have a nominee, the first thing that person will do is rescind any such decision.

Let's hope Kos is right.

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The National Sales Tax

Fun fact: the national sales tax is an idea originated by the Church of Scientology. Bruce Bartlett explains:

For those who never heard about it, the FairTax is a national retail sales tax that would replace the entire current federal tax system. It was originally devised by the Church of Scientology in the early 1990s as a way to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service, with which the church was then at war (at the time the IRS refused to recognize it as a legitimate religion). The Scientologists' idea was that since almost all states have sales taxes, replacing federal taxes with the same sort of tax would allow them to collect the federal government's revenue and thereby get rid of their hated enemy, the IRS.

L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology didn't pitch a national sales tax because it was a good idea. They just hated the IRS. That might have something to do with Hubbard embezzling millions.

A national sales tax has been pitched in Freedom Magazine. The publication is run by (you guessed it) the Church of Scientology.

Find an economic idea conservatives love and it is bound to have a bizarre origin.

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Alberto Gonzales Resigns

It is no coincidence that Alberto Gonzales resigned shortly after Karl Rove. Both were facing immense political pressure from the House and Senate Judiciary committees' investigations into the U.S. Atorney scandal. Both face the choice of staying in office and contradicting the testimony of others or seeking immunity. The choice isn't that difficult.

"Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle," said President Bush.

The seal of approval from Bush was Gonzales's kiss of death. It was only a matter of time before the Attorney General was forced out.

“I do have confidence in Attorney General Al Gonzales,” Mr. Bush said of his old friend from Texas.

Bush's seal of approval did little to help Michael Brown, Tom Delay or Dennis Hastert. The President's loyalties and political instincts are so misplaced it's as if he is trying to intentionally screw up.

Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias had this advise on the qualifications for the next Attorney General.

"Get an attorney general who's respected by the courts and by Capitol Hill and somebody who has experience as a federal prosecutor.... You need someone who understands that the attorney general has to say no to the president sometimes."

One can only hope.

USA Today has an Alberto Gonzales timeline.

Update: Here are comments from Florida congressional members.

Mel Martinez: "Alberto Gonzales is an honorable man whose life history speaks volumes about what’s best about America. ... Alberto Gonzales has conducted himself always with honesty, dedication and integrity. He is my friend and he is a good man. He and his family have my thanks for their sacrifice for serving during difficult times, and my best wishes for the future."

Bill Nelson: “We have an urgent need to restore credibility at the Justice Department. My hope is President Bush’s new pick will take politics out of enforcing the law.”

Adam Putnam: “The Department of Justice now has the opportunity to benefit from fresh leadership. What the American people need right now is an effective, independent Attorney General who will be undistracted in his or her efforts to enforce our laws, secure our borders, and vigorously prosecute the war against militant Islamist jihadists.

Martinez is a Bush loyalist to the end.

Update: Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ron Klein offer their opinions on Gonzo's resignation.

Wasserman Schultz

"We need an Attorney General who will act as a lawyer for the American people rather than a lawyer for President Bush- that is why he has a White House Counsel," said Wasserman Schultz, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. "Attorney General Gonzales was the antithesis of the blindfolded Lady of Justice; rather than providing a blind, balanced justice, he tipped the scales to the right. The President must now appoint an Attorney General who will serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer and as defender of our constitution independent of political influence."


"The Attorney General is one of the most critical positions in our government as he or she is tasked with overseeing the enforcement of our laws, and the prosecution of suspected criminals and terrorists. Thus, it's essential that the Attorney General is a person that maintains our sense of justice and keeps Americans safe," Klein said. "Unfortunately, the retention of Alberto Gonzales is another example of President Bush favoring loyalty over competence and integrity. Strong, honest, independent leadership must be restored to the Office of Attorney General or else the American people's faith in our justice system will continue to be comprised. I strongly urge President Bush to appoint a person that meets these high thresholds of character and integrity when searching for a replacement to Mr. Gonzales."

Update: Litbrit has a post on Gonzo. She is surprised by Gonzales's resignation. I'm not. Both Rove and Gonzales know that a grand jury investigation(s) will go beyond Bush's term. The prospects of another Republican president is not guaranteed. They can't rely on a pardon. They need legal council and will likely point blame at Bush and Cheney. The President and Vice-President will hide behind executive privilege and run out the clock.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bush's Confusing Rationale For Iraq War

One day Bush says Iraq isn't like Vietnam. Another day Bush says it is. Makes sense to you? Good. Moving along...

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The Credit Lending Crisis

This is a good indication of how serious the credit lending crisis is.

AMERICA's four biggest banks have announced they have each borrowed $US500 million ($613 million) from the Federal Reserve, taking an unusual step to ease the credit squeeze that has been rattling the financial system for weeks.

The banks - Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorganChase and Wachovia - said on Wednesday that they had tapped the so-called discount window of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, five days after the central bank lowered the rate and loosened its collateral requirements in an effort to inject more money into the credit markets.

The Federal Reserve cut the interest rate, it charge to banks, from 6.25 to 5.75. The banks helped created this problem by spending $300 billion in online advertising to sell mortgages. They sold mortgages to many people whom shouldn't have been approved. Noble Prize-winning economist Edmund Phelp commented on the lack of oversight.

"It seems to me that markets were not equipped with the adequate new instruments, the necessary institutions to administer these new credit markets."

What made matters worse is the housing market bubble finally popped. The top 5 U.S. homebuilders lost $1.85 billion in the third quarter.

In other news: President Bush said the economy is "strong."

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Jim Naugle: Obsessed With Public Restrooms

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle must be mad that Ronda Storms gets all the media attention. He has launch an anti-gay campaign. It is also killing Fort Lauderdale's tourism industry.

Broward County tourism officials couldn't possibly have anticipated that their worst nightmare in 2007 would be Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle. The mayor seems determined to alienate every gay and lesbian potential visitor to Broward with his contemptible anti-gay campaign.

Contrary to the mayor's claims, men having sex in public restrooms is not a problem or an epidemic in Fort Lauderdale. The city police department cites two arrests for sexual activity in public restrooms since 2005. The mayor claims the arrest number is eight. Yes, people having sex in public bathrooms is offensive, but there is no crime wave here.

Now a group of narrow-minded clerics and medical professionals has latched onto the mayor's cause. They held a press conference Tuesday to rail against public and promiscuous sex. We can all agree that such activities are to be discouraged, but this sanction applies equally to heterosexuals. Mr. Naugle and his clerical backers are specifically targeting gays and lesbians with their unwarranted criticism and, often as not, half-informed comments. The mayor apparently enjoys playing the provocateur. He refuses to let it die, as it should.

There are more productive things for the Mayor to do. Such as get potholes fixed and run an efficient government.

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FDP and DNC Draw Battle Lines

Florida Democrats are unleashing tough rhetoric against DNC Chairman Howard Dean.

The DNC "is poised to assault the basic right of a person to vote at its meeting tomorrow," Florida Sen. Bill Nelson told reporters on a conference call Friday morning. He threatened to sue the national party to prevent the sanctions from being imposed.

"I hope that cooler heads are going to prevail tomorrow," Nelson said. "If they don't, and if the full DNC were to then take that position, then certainly we will have to assert what we think are important rights."

The Washington Post reports the the DNC rules committee will sanction the Florida Democratic Party. This means the state's Jan. 29 democratic primary will be meaningless. The FDP has no plans on holding a caucus for only 120,000 registered Democrats. It looks like this is going to the courts.

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FDLE Stalled By House In Mark Foley Investigation

The House of Representatives will not allow the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to examine Mark Foley's congressional computer. Dennis Hastert and Nancy Pelosi took a similar stance after William Jefferson's office was raided by the FBI. The raid was done with a legal warrant after $90,000 was found in Jefferson's freezer.

Hastert and Pelosi issued this joint press release after the FBI raid.

"The Justice Department was wrong to seize records from Congressman Jefferson's office in violation of the Constitutional principle of Separation of Powers, the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution, and the practice of the last 219 years. These constitutional principles were not designed by the Founding Fathers to place anyone above the law. Rather, they were designed to protect the Congress and the American people from abuses of power, and those principles deserve to be vigorously defended."

"Accordingly, the Justice Department must immediately return the papers it unconstitutionally seized. Once that is done, Congressman Jefferson can and should fully cooperate with the Justice Department's efforts, consistent with his constitutional rights."

"In addition, the Justice Department must immediately cease any further review of the documents it unconstitutionally seized, ensure that those who have reviewed the documents do not divulge their contents to the investigators, and move in Court to vitiate the search warrant."

The House is behaving as it is above the law. No reasonable person is arguing that Foley or Jefferson behaved unethically. The same can be said about the House.

In related news: the FDLE found no pornographic photos in any emails in Mark Foley emails.

Other Mark Foley posts:

Mark Foley Resigns
St. Petersburg Times Sat On Mark Foley Story
St. Petersburg Times Blows It On Mark Foley
The Tom Reynolds, Dennis Hastert & Mark Foley Connection
FBI Investigating Mark Foley
White House Opposes independent investigation into Foley
Mark Foley in Rehab
More Pages Talk About Foley Emails
Matt Drudge Blames Kids For Foley Troubles
Jeb Bush Letter to Dennis Hastert
Hastert Made Same Mistakes With Foley As He Did With Delay

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Bob Allen PR Makeover

Bob Allen is going on the Trent Lott tour of shame to let black people know he is not a racist.

"If there is one thing I hope, it's that you know that is not me," the embattled legislator said during a meeting of the North Brevard branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"I really do apologize if it sounded that way."

Here is the entire audio of Allen's police interview.

Money quote.

“This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park.”

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More FDP vs. DNC Fun

Bill Nelson talking tough to the Democratic National Committee is like that kid challenging Kobe Bryant to one-on-one. His letter to the DNC is laughable.

The letter reads, in part -- "[I]f the DNC strips Florida of all or some of its delegates to the national convention -- we would ask the appropriate legal officials to determine whether this could violate any state or federal laws governing and protecting individual voting rights."

By law, the DNC runs the Democratic primaries and caucuses. They legally enforce the rules. The DNC repeatedly warned Florida not to move up the primary. Their fear was states would attempt to move their elections ahead of each other. That is exactly what happened.

It's funny to hear Nelson talk tough. This is the same man that voted to give George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales more power to torture and wiretap. The former when he was running against Katherine Harris. The latter in a Democratic Senate majority. Does anyone believe Nelson will go to go to the mattress with Howard Dean? Please.

Update: here is the full letter.

The Honorable Howard Dean
Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Chairman Dean:

It has been our understanding the Democratic National Committee intended to satisfactorily resolve any potential rules problems arising from the decision by several states to move up their 2008 primary dates.

Florida - as directed by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist - advanced its primary to Jan 29. Our goal now is to protect the right of every citizen to vote and to have that vote count.

Yet it was reported just today the DNC still appears poised to assault this basic right. According to ABC News and other news publications, the DNC may sanction Florida if the state's Democratic Party doesn't make the new primary a nonbinding straw poll - or in effect, a "meaningless . . . beauty contest."

If true - and, if the DNC strips Florida of all or some of its delegates to the national convention - we would ask the appropriate legal officials to determine whether this could violate any state or federal laws governing and protecting individual voting rights.

Furthermore, we would recommend to the chairman and leadership of the Florida Democratic Party that they send the party's entire delegation to the national convention in Denver next year anyway.

It always has been a priority of our party to protect the right of every eligible American to vote. We would hope the DNC will continue to honor this right, when the Rules and Bylaws Committee meets Saturday in Washington.

As has been discussed privately on a couple of previous occasions, there is an easy compromise to resolve this situation: the states with administrative officers legally empowered to do so can move their primaries up seven days from when they were originally planned. This would keep the same sequence and timing for all the states in the presidential selection process.


Sen. Bill Nelson
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, Democratic Chair, Florida Congressional Delegation
Rep. Kendrick Meek
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Rep. Kathy Castor

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John Edwards Coming to Orlando

John Edwards will be in Orlando at Friday's Front Row Grill on August 28, 2007. Tickets are 15 dollars.

What: "Small Change for Big Change" grassroots fundraiser with John Edwards
Where: TGI Friday's Front Row Sports Grill, 8126 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. (407) 363-1414
When: Tuesday, August 28 at 8:00 PM.

You can reserve a ticket on his campaign website.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Listen to Klassart

I heard Klassart on Hype Machine and have fell in love with this band. The band is from Iceland and Fríða Dís has the most Hypnotic voice since Hope Sandoval.

Klassart on Myspace

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Write A Caption: Huggy Bear Edition

True Love

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Romney's Factually-Challenged Attack on Obama

Josh Marshall does a good job taking apart Mitt Romney's attack on Barack Obama. Romney was interviewed by Sean Hannity about Obama's statement on too many civilian casualities from air raids in Afghanistan. Obama contends more troops are needed on the ground in Afghanistan. NATO forces have become too reliant on air raids because of the lack of ground forces.

Hannity called Obama's statement false. Romney made claim that the Senator's statements are undermining troops. Marshall shows a clip of President Bush and Hamid Karzai agreeing that civilian casualties need to be lowered. Spencer Ackerman interviewed Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad stressed the need for more ground forces and less bombing raids.

Romney's statement didn't surprise me. Much like Rudy Giuliani, his foreign policy is about looking tough and attacking Democrats. There is nothing serious about Romney's foreign policy agenda. It's the sandbox mentality of a kindergartener. One needs to look no further than Romney's statement that his sons are patriotically serving America by working on their father's presidential campaign.

"The good news is, we have a volunteer Army and that's the way we're going to keep it. My sons are adults. They've chosen not to serve in the military in active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. ... And one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

This is an unserious man.

Hat tip to Tas.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pat Roberts: The Coal Industry's Best Friend

Melissa Meehan of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has sent this email out. The Florida Republican Women's Network invited Cato Institute senior fellow Pat Michaels to speak. He has been doing his best to convince people that global warming is bogus. His research is funded by the coal induatry.

Meehan wants activists to voice their displeasure in The Buzz comments.

Pat Michaels is coming to Florida on Aug. 25 to speak to the Florida Republican Women's Network in Orlando at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel.

Here is a link exposing Pat Michael's funding sources:
Here is a link to more on Michael's background from SourceWatch:
Attached is the Newsweek story on global warming deniers.

Here is a quote from Ross Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who wrote the book on the global warming disinformation campaign:

Pat Michaels, who has received hundreds of thousands in coal industry money
to misrepresent the truth about global warming, is a laughing stock in the scientific community. As one leading internationally known climate scientist concluded: Michaels' work "contains so many errors, misconceptions and misrepresentations" that it would not even be considered for serious scientific peer-review.

-- Ross Gelbspan, author, The Heat is On (1997), Boiling Point (2004)

Here is a blurb on Dr. Michaels from a recent issue of Newsweek: (full story attached)

Groups that opposed greenhouse curbs ramped up. They "settled on the
'science isn't there' argument because they didn't believe they'd be able
to convince the public to do nothing if climate change were real," says
David Goldston, who served as Republican chief of staff for the House of
Representatives science committee until 2006. Industry found a friend in
Patrick Michaels, a climatologist at the University of Virginia who keeps a
small farm where he raises prize-winning pumpkins and whose favorite
weather, he once told a reporter, is "anything severe." Michaels had
written several popular articles on climate change, including an op-ed in
The Washington Post in 1989 warning of "apocalyptic environmentalism,"
which he called "the most popular new religion to come along since
Marxism." The coal industry's Western Fuels Association paid Michaels to
produce a newsletter called World Climate Report, which has regularly
trashed mainstream climate science. (At a 1995 hearing in Minnesota on
coal-fired power plants, Michaels admitted that he received more than
$165,000 from industry; he now declines to comment on his industry

funding, asking, "What is this, a hatchet job?")

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Pushing Rope Group

There is now an official Pushing Rope group on Facebook. It's open for anyone to joing.

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DNC Letter to FDP

The Florida Democratic Party is negotiating with the Democratic National Committee. Florida moved up it's primary date against the wishes of the DNC. A delegation of Florida DNC members will meet with the DNC on Saturday, 25 August 2008 at Congressional Ballroom of the Capitol Hilton. The fact that the FDP is sending Janee Murphy is not reassuring.

The FDP has to comply with the DNC guidelines or lose delegates. There is no guarantee that the DNC will allow Florida to have delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

This is an email sent by Jon M. Ausman to the FDP.


Dear Friend:

On Saturday, 25 August 2008, the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) will meet at 10:00 AM in the
Congressional Ballroom of the Capitol Hilton located at 1001 - 16th
Street, Northwest, in Washington, DC, to review the Florida
Democratic Party (FDP) Delegate Selection Plan (DSP).

This plan causes for a binding presidential preference primary to be
held on 29 January 2008 which will result in the allocation of 210
delegates among those presidential candidates receiving 15% of the
vote or more in any of Florida´s 25 congressional districts or as a
statewide total.

The FDP DSP reflects the will United States Senator Bill Nelson, most
of Florida´s Democratic Members of Congress, State Chair and former
Congresswoman Karen Thurman and the FDP State Executive Committee.

The DNC in August 2006 passed a delegate selection plan and call to
the Democratic National Convention that states only four states may
legally, under national party rule, hold the "first determining step"
for delegate selection prior to 5 February 2008. These states are
Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Even though all the components of the FDP DSP, but one, meet the DNC
rules the FDP DSP will be found to be out of compliance by the DNC
RBC this Saturday around 11:30 AM. The FDP DSP will then give the
FDP thirty (30) days to bring the plan into compliance. Failure to
bring this plan into compliance may result in the following:

1.The elimination of all unpledged delegates from
Florida (this would include Senator Nelson, all the Democratic
Members of Congress, all Florida DNC Members and the three unpledged
add on delegates);
2.The cutting in half of the number of pledged
delegates which means Florida will only have 93 delegates;
3.The enforcement of the rule stating that no
delegates will be awarded to any presidential candidate that
campaigns in Florida; and,
4.The imposition of a DNC RBC delegate selection

All eleven Florida DNC Members met today on a conference call.
Present were: former FDP Chair Terrie Brady; State Representative
Joyce Cusack, First Vice Chair Diane Glasser; Secretary Janee Murphy;
former Congresswoman and FDP Chair Karen Thurman; Jon Ausman; DNC
Executive Committee Member Mitch Ceasar; Tallahassee City
Commissioner Allan Katz; former Mayor of Hialeah Raul Martinez;
Chuck Mohlke; and, Taylor County Commissioner Rudy Parker.

On Saturday at least six of these DNC Members will present the FDP´s
efforts to have a delegate selection plan which attempts to meet the
following five goals:

1.A plan the maximizes the number of Florida
Democrats participating in the delegate selection process (two
million Democrats will vote in the primary versus at best 100,000 in
a caucus);
2.A plan the allows Democratic candidates who
campaign in Florida to win delegates (which the DNC RBC may prohibit
from happening);
3.A plan which gives a Florida Democrat casting a
ballot a ballot which is worth just as much as one cast by a Vermont
Democrat (in short, the vote counts, results in the proper and full
allocation of delegates and in a delegation which represents the
principle of one man, one vote);
4.A plan which results in full delegate
representation at the Democratic National Convention;
5.A plan which does not cost the FDP treasury all
it has and allows us to save our funds and people power for the
November election rather than squander it on a caucus.

Every DNC Member is committed to this plan.

If the DNC RBC states the FDP DSP is not in compliance I will write
you and let you know. I will also let you know what our options are
to have a plan which most of the goals listed above. If the DNC RBC
states that no delegates shall be allocated based on the 29 January
2008 primary then we will need to have a gathering of the minds,
including yours, to decide how to proceed.


I have no idea what happens next. Moving up the primary date was stupid, selfish and forced other states to move up their dates. Michigan is moving their primary to January 15th. Florida treats election with an attitude of unseriousness.

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Monday, August 20, 2007


It is really sleazy for the Duncan Hunter to raise for for a bogus child abuse cause for his presidential campaign.

Donations to the cause benefit
Duncan Hunter
A 2008 Presidential Campaign

It's the sleaziest thing I've seen for this presidential campaign season. I'm sure something will top it. This is still low.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Giuliani's Unrealistic Foreign Policy

It is really bad when conservative blogger James Joyner calls Rudy Giuliani's foreign policy vision "dangerously stupid."

The first thing that bothered me is how horribly written Giuliani's op-ed is. The Slate's Fred Kaplan remarked, "Had it been written for a freshman course on international relations, it would deserve at best a C-minus with a concerned note to come see the professor as soon as possible." A perfect example is Giuliani's confusing sentence structuring.

"Achieving a realistic peace means balancing realism and idealism in our foreign policy," Giuliani writes. "America is a nation that loves peace and hates war."

Giuliani's poison pen doesn't get better. I seriously wonder the America's Mayor paid a high school sophomore to write this shit. Another example is "The first step toward a realistic peace is to be realistic about our enemies." Was Giuliani under the impression that the American people have been living in a dream-like state the past six years since 9-11?

Giuliani engages in revisionist history.

"America must remember one of the lessons of the Vietnam War. Then, as now, we fought a war with the wrong strategy for several years. And then, as now, we corrected course and began to show real progress. Many historians today believe that by about 1972 we and our South Vietnamese partners had succeeded in defeating the Vietcong insurgency and in setting South Vietnam on a path to political self-sufficiency. But America then withdrew its support, allowing the communist North to conquer the South."

Vietnam was not going to become a democracy, no matter how long the United States remained militarily engaged. To suggest otherwise is revisionist history at best and utter batshit insanity at it's worse. Giuliani contends if Iraq and Afghanistan (already) fell that the consequences would be as disastrous as Vietnam. Conservative blogger Dan Drezner points out that Giuliani accidently debunks his own argument.

Actually, the fall of Saigon was, in the end, the final falsification of the domino theory that Giuliani's essay unconsciously accepts. South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia collapsed. That was it. The Soviet Union's subsequent expansionism proved to be its ruination, as it found itself bogged down in Afghanistan.

There is the question of how Giuliani expects to get enough recruits for ten more ten new combat brigades" with a volunteer. He makes it very clear he has no intention if leaving Iraq. Ever. That doesn't entice young men and women to enlist. Even if Giuliani got enough recruit, ten brigades is only an "appropriate baseline." We may need more soldiers. Perhaps he can use clones like Emperor Palpatine.

I could go on, but I don't have the time. This foreign policy paper is Gigli bad.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Quote of the Day

"This was one of many reasons I voted against SCHIP, a so-called State Children's Health Insurance Program that creates a new entitlement program that would be available to large numbers of adults and illegal immigrants."

Tom Feeney

This has been the talking point for Republicans. States can verify citizenship. To me that isn't even the issue. Feeney is saying is he would not offer medical care to a child because of of the color of his or her skin. Feeney managed to make himself sound uncompassionate and racist. Way to go champ!

Hat tip to Eddie Schwieterman


Write A Caption

These two are giving very different hand signals.

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Pushing Rope Now On Facebook

Pushing Rope officially has a Facebook site. The goal is to branch PR out and experiment with different forms of media. This is not going to replace the blog in any way, shape or form.

My friend Annie Heckenberger is the social media director for GPTMC. She has been pushing social and other new forms of media on me for quite some time. She recently did an interview on social media.

5. Do you see a day when most, if not all offline companies are involved in social media?

When I was in the for-profit world and explaining the social media revolution to Fortune 500 companies, I explained it like this: We are no longer living in the marketing world that you’ve known. There is a social revolution occuring globally and the power is now in the hands of the individual user/consumer. So you can either get up to speed and join their world, or you will be left behind in their dust because this is not a fad.

6. It seems as though quite a few people are finding success through connecting with bloggers in promoting their products and/or companies. How important do you consider this aspect of social media PR to be?

For marketers, communicating with bloggers is critical. If you aren’t engaging in a dialogue with these people whose voices are sometimes heard by audiences as large as small town newspapers, you aren’t doing your job. Bloggers are no longer a specific target (age, income, sex, etc), they are a psychographic of people - all ages, races, incomes, locations, etc.

I have been hit up a few times by concert promoters to do ticket giveaways. Ditto with advertisers. The entertainment industry look at blogging as an avenue to reach consumers. I certainly have no illusions that I'm Daily Kos. In fact, my traffic has dropped.

I'm interested in how new forms of media can be harnessed to tie in the Florida progressive blogosphere with smaller grassroots organizations. I want to reach people that do not follow politics. I enjoy preaching to the converted as much as the next lefty blogger, but that isn't going to help us win elections.

Another reason for using Facebook is to educate people about shelters for abused women and children. There are also alcohol and drug prevention centers that aren't widely known. There are so many smaller issues that the blog doesn't get the time to write about.

I'm going to talk with Annie about the Facebook site. This is is open forum for Ropers. Zen, Litbrit, and SineQuaNon, what do you think?

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rubio vs. Allen

Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has removed Bob Allen as Chairman of the Energy Commission.

Said Rubio: “The House will continue to respect Rep. Allen’s right to defend himself against the charges which arose when he was arrested on July 11. However, we must acknowledge that in addition to being a private citizen, he is a public official. As such, we are judged by a higher standard than procedural innocence. The mere perception of impropriety can interfere with our official function. It is my personal belief that because of the allegations against him, Rep. Allen can no longer effectively serve the people of his district in the Florida House.”

Allen maintains his innocence.

"I haven't even had my first day in court yet...Totalitarian governments are famous for the police making the charge and the conviction. That's not America. I would think this leadership more than anyone would think that we don't want to copy totalitarian governments but copy American principles."

Is it me or is Allen sounding as whacky as Ralph Nader?

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The Wall Street Journal's Handling of Karl Rove Story

Isn't it interesting that the Wall Street Journal's editorial page scooped the DC division on the Karl Rove resignation story. It also is interesting that Rove called Paul Gigot and the WSJ ran the scoop on the editioral page. The WSJ editorial board has been one of Rove's biggest supporters.

Gigot was interviewed for the WSJ internet edition and swears that Rove's resignation has nothing to do with the US Attorneys scandal. Here is a sample of Gigot's hard-hitting muckraking.

Mr. Rove doesn't say, though others do, that this timing also allows him to leave on his own terms. He has survived a probe by a remorseless special counsel, and lately a subpoena barrage from Democrats for whom he is the great white whale. He shows notable forbearance in declining to comment on prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who dragged him through five grand jury appearances. He won't even disclose his legal bills, except to quip that "every one has been paid" and that "it was worth every penny."

Rove should have showed the same forbearance in not uttering Valerie Plame's name to the media. Bush should have kept his word and fired Rove the moment it became clear he leaked Plame's identity. Gigot's commentary isn't journalism. It is spin. He isn't entitled to his own facts. He he either too stupid to understand the law or doesn't care.

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Dick Cheney Blast From the Past

This is a segment of a 1994 interview with Dick Cheney. The former Sec. of Defense convincingly argues that invading Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein would have been a bad idea.

INTERVIEWER: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?



CHENEY: Because if we'd gone to Baghdad, we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. It would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.

Once you got into Iraq and took it over, and took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government in Iraq, you can easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west. Part of eastern Iraq, the Iranians would like to claim -- fought over for eight years. In the north, you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you've threatened the territorial integrity of Turkey. It's a quagmire, if you go that far in trying to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact that we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action and for their families, it wasn't a cheap war.

And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad and took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? And our judgment was: not very many. And I think we got it right.

Hat tip to Blast Off!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bradenton Law Enforcement Officers Fired For Sex With Hookers


Rilo Kiley - Silver Lining

Glide Magazine has a sample mp3 of the lead track to the upcoming Rilo Kiley Under the Blacklight. The song is Silver Lining and it is one of the best things Rilo Kiley has recording.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

My Letter to

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I am writing to let you know that I am thoroughly disgusted to learn of Amazon's policy of selling cockfighting magazines and materials as well as dogfighting DVD's. You are well aware that such cruel practices are immoral--not to mention illegal--in most if not all states, yet you are apparently claiming First Amendment protection for yourselves, saying that you have the right to publish and sell written and videotaped material about anything and everything, including illegal, cruel activities.

I maintain that I, too, have a right: the right to take my business elsewhere. I've been a loyal Amazon customer since the late 1990's, spending a not-small fortune, especially on holidays and for birthdays. But now I will wait for a local bookstore or Barnes & Noble online to carry the item, or use my local library; or I will go without.

I would consider returning to your bookstore if and when I learn you have banished cruelty-based items from your virtual shelves.

I hope to hear from you one day soon and learn you have cleaned up your collective act. In the meantime, I thank you for the opportunity to express my displeasure with your online store and its policies.

Deborah Newell Tornello


I urge you to visit the Humane Society of the United States' action webpage and let Jeff Bezos, CEO of, know how you feel about his mega-corporation's inexplicable and unconscionable support for animal cruelty by selling such heartless, disgusting products as dogfighting DVD's and publications like Gamecock and The Feathered Warrior.

If you're interested in adopting a Pit Bull--and what a fine, noble, and gentle breed it is!--here are numerous regional Pit Bull rescue organizations.

On behalf of those who can't say it out loud, Thank You.

via Minstrel Boy.

Also at litbrit.

UPDATE: Right on cue, a form-letter reply from landed in my In box (they must be receiving lots of complaints if such a huge corporation can't take the time to issue personal responses to their customers). Anyway, as Minstrel Boy warned, it contained a load of blather about them not wanting to engage in censorship by banning "controversial" subjects from their inventory. Hmmm...I do so love it when people try to engage in semantics games with me...

"Oh dear, look out," warns Mr. litbrit, "Mess with language and you're about to lose an argument in a BIG way, for your life!"

...since there is no controversy here: Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and is a felony offense in almost every state; cockfighting is illegal in all but two states--New Mexico and Louisiana, where it is "partly legal", whatever that means--and, I'm proud to say, Florida stands with Michigan and Colorado as having the toughest penalties for cockfighting in the nation.

Illegal. Not merely objectionable or "controversial", which means "subject to controversy; debatable; arguable; questionable". Against the law--as in, already decided, argument over, debate finished.

Ergo, what is doing is no different than if they were to sell a magazine entitled, say, Bank Robber's Manifesto Monthly or DVD's of child pornography--the making of which, like the hosting of dogfighting, is also illegal in all 50 states--and then pathetically try to claim First Amendment privileges because committing bank robbery or making child porn were "controversial".

It's nothing more than obfuscatory lawyerese--in other words, bullshit.

Hey, Mr. Bezos, here's a statement about which there's no controversy whatsoever: You're an irresponsible, heartless, and weak-willed asshole who clearly has morons for lawyers, and you're going to lose a lot of loyal customers over this.

Karl Rove Resigns

Karl Rove is official resigning.

"I just think it's time," Mr Rove said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, adding that he was quitting for the sake of his family.

Rove has been subpoenaed for his alleged involvement in the U.S. purge scandal. Litbrit pointing to an under-oath statement by Kyle Sampson that Alberto Gonzales confirmed.

Gonzales confirmed statements by Sampson that presidential adviser Karl Rove passed along GOP complaints to Gonzales last fall about the alleged lack of aggressiveness by Iglesias and two other U.S. attorneys in prosecuting voter fraud. Gonzales said he passed on the complaints to Sampson, who at some point in the same time period placed Iglesias on the firing list.

White House official don't resign unless they are in trouble (Michael Brown, Lewis Libby) or out of favor with the Bushies (Richard Clarke.) It's hard for me to believe that a political junkie like Rove would want out before the 2008 elections. He is aware how vulnerable the GOP is right now. Resigning after being subpoenaed gives reason for skepticism.

Joe Wilson points out that Rove was suppose to be forced out after President Bush promised to fire anyone caught leaking Valerie Plame's identity to the media.

"Karl Rove's resignation signals the final chapter in the Bush administration's betrayal of the identity of a covert CIA officer. When this breach of national security occurred, the President promised the American people that anybody in his administration responsible for the leak would be removed. Rove, identified by the prosecutors as one of the leakers, not only was not summarily dismissed, but has been allowed to leave on his own terms, to praise from the President. This sordid tale of compromising national security to cover-up and distract from the false rationale for the invasion of Iraq will forever remain in history a black mark on the Bush presidency."

The Bush administration: words mean more than actions.

Update: video of Bush/Rove press conference.

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DCCC Targets Florida House Seats

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running ad against Reps. Vern Buchanan, Tom Feeney and Bill Young.

DCCC chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen said the three will be targeted for voting against a proposal to expand health insurance to children. Only 5 Republicans voted for the bill and President Bush has threatened a veto.

"Republicans who continue to vote in lockstep with President Bush and against seniors and children in their districts will be held accountable," Van Hollen said.

Republicans Gus Bilirakis, Ginny Brown-Waite and Adam Putnam also voted against H.R. 3162.

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On The Rove (Again)

Karl Rove holding a "Generation Of Peace" bumpersticker during an interview with Dan Rather in 1972 while working on then-President Nixon's re-election campaign. (Via The Village Voice)

Oftentimes, human beings make jokes about that which we fear most; it's a natural defense mechanism, I suppose, a way to frame the worrisome, the ominous, or even the terrifying as something silly and taunt-worthy, thus (we imagine) curtailing or at least reducing its power--symbolically if not actually.

I'm as guilty of this as the next person: when Spurious George's über-advisor Karl Rove performed an unforgivably dumb rap performance-attempt at the most recent White House Correspondents' Dinner, I couldn't help but notice how much he resembled Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas (and yes, I do indeed have that movie on the brain lately), and helpfully posted a video clip of Tim Burton's puffy menace doing his threatening thing.

None of this changes the fact that Karl Rove was--and still is--an extremely powerful figure in Washington, a man whose career represents a tour de force of Machiavellian plotting and, many believe, malfeasance. But now he's reportedly resigning at the end of this month, walking away from the uppermost levers of power that his sticky little fingers have gripped and flipped since winning his boss the White House in 2000 by tying the hapless Al Gore--symbolically if not actually--to Bill Clinton's unimaginably costly blowjobs.

As I've remarked to Robert on more than one occasion, if anything brings down the Bush-Cheney-Rove junta, it will be the fact that they tangled with lawyers. Accordingly, I believe that Attorneygate, rather than the risible "needing to spend more time with the family" excuse, is precisely what's behind Rove's resignation. The Village Voice points to a buried passage in a WaPo article, published earlier this year, that would seem to support this theory (emphasis mine):

Gonzales said he made the final decision to approve the firings but took the recommendations of his assistants without closely reviewing their reasons for dismissing each prosecutor. He said his former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, was in charge of the details and updated him only occasionally on his progress. The attorney general said he made a mistake by not being more closely involved in the process.

Gonzales confirmed statements by Sampson that presidential adviser Karl Rove passed along GOP complaints to Gonzales last fall about the alleged lack of aggressiveness by Iglesias and two other U.S. attorneys in prosecuting voter fraud. Gonzales said he passed on the complaints to Sampson, who at some point in the same time period placed Iglesias on the firing list.

Alleged lack of aggressiveness. More like, lack of toxic partisanship. Republican David Iglesias was only one of several U.S. attorneys fired for, ah, questionable reasons in what may be the scandal that sticks, but the circumstances surrounding his dismissal are right up there among the Most Egregious Bushian Webs of Lies Ever (and that's saying something):

Allen Weh, chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to a White House aide for Karl Rove, asking that Iglesias be removed. Then in 2006 Rove personally told Weh “He’s gone.” Weh was dissatisfied with Iglesias due in part to his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation. Weh followed up with, "There’s nothing we’ve done that’s wrong." In March 2007, the White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Rove "wasn’t involved in who was going to be fired or hired." However, one of the stated reasons for Iglesias' dismissal, by Administration officials, was dissatisfaction in his prosecution of voter-fraud cases. Nevertheless, Iglesias "had been heralded for his expertise in that area by the Justice Department, which twice selected him to train other federal prosecutors to pursue election crimes" and was "one of two chief federal prosecutors invited to teach at a 'voting integrity symposium' in October 2005... sponsored by Justice's public integrity and civil rights sections."

In February 2007 Iglesias publicly alleged that "two lawmakers called him about a well-known criminal investigation involving a Democratic legislator" and that "the lawmakers who called him seemed focused on whether charges would be filed before the November elections. He said the calls made him feel 'pressured to hurry the subsequent cases and prosecutions.' " (U.S. Attorneys in Arizona, Nevada and California were also conducting corruption probes involving Republicans at the time of their dismissals.) According to and later confirmed prior to the 2006 midterm election, Heather Wilson and Pete Domenici called and "pressured" Iglesias "to speed up indictments in a federal corruption investigation that involved at least one former Democratic state senator." When Iglesias told Domenici that an indictment wouldn't be handed down until at least December, Iglesias said "the line went dead," and he was fired one week later by the Bush Administration. After initially denying the call, Domenici admitted making it in March 2007. According to the Washington Post, "A communication by a senator or House member with a federal prosecutor regarding an ongoing criminal investigation is a violation of ethics rules." Domenici admitted calling Iglesias despite the initial denial, but Domenici said he never used the word "November" when he called Iglesias about an ongoing Albuquerque courthouse corruption case. Domenici has denied trying to influence Iglesias, and has hired lawyer K. Lee Blalack II to represent him. According to the Justice Department, Domenici called the Department and demanded Iglesias be replaced on four occasions. On the day that Iglesias was fired, Harriet Miers' deputy William Kelley wrote that Domenici's chief of staff "is happy as a clam" about Iglesias and a week later Sampson wrote that "Domenici is going to send over names tomorrow (not even waiting for Iglesias's body to cool)."

Conlige suspectos semper habitos. Round up the usual suspects. And pass the popcorn.

Also at litbrit.