Saturday, March 31, 2007

President Pissypants Disapproves of Pelosi's Trip to Syria

Can you believe it? Speaker Nancy Pelosi has defied the big bad Decider by planning to visit Syria. Against the wishes of President Pissypants, the Speaker actually plans to talk with representatives of the Syrian government! This is what happens when you let women into government. They talk to people!

The White House said Pelosi's trip is "a really bad idea."

Nancy Pelosi will meet with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The Speaker "will be the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Syria since relations deteriorated between Damascus and Washington."

"I don't know what she is trying to accomplish, and I don't know if anyone in the administration has spoken to her about it," whined White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

The State Department said, "it is not the right time to have these sort of high-profile visitors to Syria."

The White House accused Pelosi of "failing to heed the administration’s admonitions against travel to Damascus." The loyal Bushies in the White House also said that nobody told them Pelosi would be going to Syria. But Pelosi said she remembers talking to President Pissypants and telling him all about it.

Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said: "As recommended by the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan delegation led by Speaker Pelosi intends to discuss a wide range of security issues affecting the United States and the Middle East with representatives of governments in the region, including Syria."

Speaker Pelosi is visiting Syria as part of a "nine-day goodwill trip to the Middle East."

Good will!?! What on earth will the Democrats think of next?

Update from Think Progress: The hypocritical Bushies haven't said a critical word about the Republicans who are currently in Syria, nor the bipartisan delegation Pelosi is leading to Syria.

Barbara Ehrenreich Endorses Edwards

The long-time champion of economic justice, Barbara Ehrenreich endorses the only candidate who appears to be serious about the issue -- John Edwards.

From Barbara's Blog:

Ever since John and Elizabeth Edwards revealed that her cancer is back and has taken up residence in her bones I’ve lived in fear of what Ann Coulter might have to say about this grim situation. It’s bad enough, for someone like me, who’s been treated for breast cancer, to hear about anyone else’s recurrence, but it’s worse when you’re worried about a recurrence of Coulter’s hoof-in-mouth disease, which led her to suggest, on March 2, that John Edwards is a “faggot.” Will she now charge that the Edwards are faking the whole thing – or that Elizabeth is actually a male transvestite, who will be using the alleged cancer as a cover-up for his sex-change operation?

. . . All right, I have a stake in all this. For my money, John Edwards is the best candidate out there. Clinton has Iraqi and American blood on her hands; Obama has yet to lay out clear economic alternatives; and, although they might once have been Republican moderates, McCain and Giuliani are shamelessly snuggling up to the Christianist Right. I like Edwards because he’s taken up the banner of the little guy and gal in America's grossly one-sided class war. He’s laid out a plan for universal health insurance; he wants to repeal Bush’s tax cuts for the rich; he shows up at workers’ picket lines.

Read the whole thing... . . [via]

Thanx Johnieb!

Religion Without Truth

Religion and Truth

In 1992, at a conference of Republican governors, Kirk Fordice of Mississippi referred to America as a “Christian nation.” One of his colleagues rose to say that what Governor Fordice no doubt meant is that America is a Judeo-Christian nation. If I meant that, Fordice replied, I would have said it.

Read the whole thing . .

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fox Says 50% of Republicans Fear Hillary

I mentioned this in a previous post, but it deserves a post all its own. A recent Fox Poll finds that 50% of Republicans would be "scared" if Hillary Clinton were president.

Hmmm, now there's a reason to vote for Hillary.

The folks at Fox don't say so, but for sure they're scared too.

[O]ne of four voters — 26 percent — say they would be "scared" if Clinton were to win — that’s more than twice as many as those who say the same of Obama (11 percent) and McCain (9 percent) and more than three times as many as feel that way about Giuliani (8 percent).

Only 7% of Democrats would be scared of President Hillary Clinton versus 27% of Independents.

And, 67% of voters think the Dems are going to win the White House in 2008.


Who's Afraid of Hillary Clinton?

In a post at MoJo Blog, Diane Dees points out that Chris Matthews has a habit of criticizing Hillary Clinton and "not for her policies or her votes in the Senate, but for her gender."

Yet Matthews claims: "'You only hear criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton from smart, college-educated women. They're the ones that always have a problem with her.' Matthews then explained that men 'are afraid to talk like that.'"

While there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton has many critics who are also "smart, college-educated women," Matthews must live in a bubble if he doesn't hear a veritable onslaught of Hillary bashing from men. I guess he doesn't read the liberal and predominantly male Daily Kos or any of the many hypermasculine conservative blogs. And he hasn't seen this Fox Poll which finds that 26 percent of Americans would be "scared" if Hillary were the president! (50% of Republicans would be scared, 7% of Dems and 27% of Independents.) You don't have to be a women's studies scholar to recognize that a very large component of this fear factor is a male privilege thing.

Writing at the American Prospect, Garance Franke-Ruta points out that if it were up to women, Hillary Clinton would be the next president:

The most important division Clinton begets is between men and women, and the conservative-liberal divide on her emerges in part from the gendered division of political beliefs in America. An ABC News poll of Democrats and Republicans in January found that men were divided 49 percent to 48 percent on Hillary, while women backed her with 59 percent positive to 39 percent negative impressions. According to a December 2006 Washington Post-ABC News poll, the same divide existed among Democratic voters. Clinton had a 20-point lead among Democratic women, with 49 percent of them -- but only 29 percent of men -- backing her as their first choice. Since then she has increased her margin of support enough that if women alone were voting, and the election were held today, she would almost certainly be elected the next president of America.

The National Organization for Women (with a membership of 500,000) recently endorsed Senator Clinton. Many of the "smart, college educated women" in this forum are not happy with NOW's endorsement.

Hillary is not progressive enough. And you just can't vote for a woman solely because of gender. Most days I agree. But I continue to be conflicted about the first ever viable candidacy of a Democratic woman. She may not be the most progressive candidate in town, but she's the most progressive woman, and face it folks, it's not like we ever get a genuinely progressive president in this country.

There are moments when I think I could throw everything else to the side and base my vote or support solely on gender (but only if the candidate is not Republican). I had one of those moments earlier this morning when I wandered into a discussion at TBogg. (Thanx MzNicky.)

I'm as quick as anyone to ridicule and criticize women like Ann Coulter and Ann Althouse, but I am sick and tired of the sexism. I am sick and tired of conservatives and liberals alike who can't bear to hear a woman express her opinion without shoving their disrespect in her face by resorting to rhetorical rape. Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, she 'gets' that. And she 'gets' misogyny far better than any of the more progressive candidates.

One thing I know -- it's not ever going to get better for girls and women until we have large numbers of women in the highest offices of the land.

Beware of Loyal Bushies In Our Midst

Without Senate confirmation, the Justice Department named Craig S. Morford to serve as Middle Tennessee's U.S. Attorney on an interim basis (Morford is pictured at the podium).

The testimony of Kyle Sampson before the Senate Judiciary Committee clearly implicates both Rove and Gonzales as directly involved in the purge of prosecutors deemed non "loyal Bushies."

Senator Kennedy points out that the rovian firings have resulted in new prosecutors in presidential swing states, including Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Arkansas. [via]

Why else would Rove be involved?

And Senator Specter bemoans the fact that "the Department of Justice is in a state of disrepair, perhaps even dysfunctional, because of what has happened, with morale low."

Yeah, well, Specter should direct his gaze of empathy at the morale of 'we the people.' Who can possibly keep up with all the scandals and lies? The only thing that seems certain is that the U.S. Government is corrupt to the bone.

And it is damn hard to distinguish the U. S. Government from the Republican Party!

Here in Tennessee, our U.S. -- or Republican -- Attorney is Craig S. Morford. Presumably it is his job to prosecute Democrats. Shortly before the eight non loyal Bushie prosecutors were fired, the Justice Department named Craig S. Morford -- without Senate confirmation -- to serve as Middle Tennessee's U.S. Attorney on an interim basis. Morford is one of 15 prosecutors who took office after appointment by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales but without Senate confirmation.

By definition, it would appear that Craig Morford must be a "loyal Bushie." And as we know, loyalty to Bush is invariably accompanied by incompetence on the job.

Morford obtained his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law and a B.A. from Hope College. According to the vision statement of Hope College: Hope will offer students outstanding opportunities for development in Christian faith through study, worship and service. U.S. News & World Report ranks Valparaiso as a Tier 4 school.

U.S. attorney Craig Morford is pictured above speaking at the podium, with Mark Gwyn to his right. (Gwyn is the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.)

It's not clear how Morford will be affected now that Congress has taken the axe to "the provision of the 2006 reauthorization of the Patriot Act that allowed the administration to name interim prosecutors indefinitely without Senate approval."

What is clear is that all prosecutions of Democrats in Tennessee and across the country are suspect. And that goes for prosecutions throughout the entire Bush reign.

Many Plans, No News

Mideast Math

In the Middle East today, home of the invention of algebra, a new math seems to have taken over. It is subtraction by addition. It goes like this: Add more trips to the region by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who doesn’t seem to have any coherent strategy — to an emotionally stale, restated Saudi peace overture to Israel, and combine it with a cynical Hamas-Fatah cease-fire accord and an Israeli prime minister so unpopular his poll ratings are now lower than the margin of error, and you’ll find that we’re actually going backward — way back, back to the pre-Oslo era. . .

The Bush team reminds me of someone who buys a rundown house that comes with remodeling plans by Frank Lloyd Wright, but insists instead on using drawings submitted by the next-door neighbors. You get what you pay for. Or what you don’t pay for.

Read more . . .

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sen. Inhofe (R) Blocks Gore's Live Earth Concert

Crazed flat-earther James Inhofe (R-Okla) is blocking the plans for Al Gore’s ‘Live Earth’ concert to be held at the Capitol.

Inhofe says he's doing this because global warming is a partisan thing!

Yeah, well, in Bush's disunited America, everything appears to be partisan, especially believing in science. Contact Inhofe here.

The Live Earth Concerts will be held in all 7 continents and will reach a global audience of over 2 billion.

"The US concert, scheduled for the steps of the Capitol on July 7, 2007, has drawn an A-list slate of pop performers, including the Police, Kanye West, Faith Hill, Bon Jovi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers."

Update: The search is on for a new site, probably New York. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) is outraged: "Not since former Interior Secretary James Watt tried to ban the Beach Boys from appearing on the National Mall has such a misguided effort at political censorship been undertaken by a Republican official. It's dangerous enough to deny science; it's sheer lunacy to deny song."

The Hill:

Inhofe’s belief that climate change is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” is common knowledge in the capitol, and environmental groups cheered the new prospects for carbon-capping legislation when he ceded the Environment and Public Works Committee gavel this session. But Inhofe’s parliamentary powers can block indefinitely the resolution that would permit Gore to choose the capitol’s West Front for the U.S. leg of his seven-continent Live Earth concert tour — a collaboration between Gore and promoter Kevin Wall, who masterminded previous blockbuster charity concerts Live Aid and Live 8.

“There has never been a partisan political event at the Capitol, and this is a partisan political event,” Inhofe said yesterday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attempted late last week to pass the authorizing measure for Live Earth by unanimous consent. But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) raised an objection on the floor, seeking more time for his side to look at the resolution. . .

Chad Griffin, an adviser to Live Earth, was taken aback by Inhofe’s objections to using the Capitol to promote environmental health. The West Front was used to inaugurate Earth Day in a 1990 event, for which Gore, a former senator, sponsored the authorizing resolution. . . “This is a totally non-partisan event,” Griffin said, noting that Reid cosponsored the concert resolution with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

PurgeGate: Sampson Testifies Today

D. Kyle Sampson testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. This should be interesting.

TPM Muckraker has the latest: "The Justice Department turned over yet more documents to Congress today -- documents which seem to show that Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff Kyle Sampson was responsible for misleading Congress about Karl Rove's role in replacing a U.S. attorney."

Karl Rove Raps

Think Progress has the video of Karl Rove dancin' and rappin' on the stage at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner. Seriously. You will also see NBC's David Gregory demonstrating the concept of embedded media by playing one of MC Rove's back-up dancers.

This is supposed to be a fun event, and Bush does look like he's having fun in his traditional laid back I'm the Boy King of All This pose.

Karl Rove admits that his idea of a joke is that he likes to tear the heads off small animals. He said that. Next week expect MC Rove to move on to rat poison in your pet food jokes.

A more interesting moment was the failed attempt to get Rove or Bush to say Rove's nickname outloud. Rove played dumb. Bush played dumb. For some reason the posers just could not recall Bush's famed nickname for Rove -- turdblossom. [via ]

Dems Bringing Back the ERA

So now that we have Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a woman who is actually a serious candidate for the presidency, maybe the time has finally arrived when we can actually put women into the U.S. Constitution.

As Barbara Boxer says, "elections have consequences."

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

That's some radical amendment. Nothing radical about it until you get to the part that signifies women. Here we are in 2007, and equal rights for women is still a radical idea.

Federal and state lawmakers have launched a new drive to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, reviving a feminist goal that faltered a quarter-century ago when the measure did not gain the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.

The amendment, which came three states short of enactment in 1982, has been introduced in five state legislatures since January. Yesterday, House and Senate Democrats reintroduced the measure under a new name -- the Women's Equality Amendment -- and vowed to bring it to a vote in both chambers by the end of the session.

The renewed push to pass the ERA, which passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly in 1972 and was ratified by 35 states before skidding to a halt, highlights liberals' renewed sense of power since November's midterm elections. From Capitol Hill to Arkansas, legislators said they are seizing a political opportunity to enshrine women's rights in the Constitution.

Women have only been asking for the Equal Rights Amendment since 1923. The women who first campaigned for the right to vote did not live to see the day when the dream became reality. And Alice Paul, author of the ERA, has long since passed.

The ERA, aka the Women's Equality Amendment, is also known as the Alice Paul Amendment. Just as the 19th Amendment is known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. If history, or herstory, means anything, when we finally get women into the Constitution, we need to remember Alice Paul.

Shakespeare's Sister
All Spin Zone
Rooks Rant
The Democratic Daily
Alice Paul Graphic

The D.C. Tea Party


Washington: Larry Chapman is a firefighter, and during an interview the other day I couldn’t help but notice the burns from a recent fire that circled both of his wrists. He shrugged them off. Part of the job.

He and I were talking about something that bothered him a lot more. He’s an American citizen, lives in the nation’s capital, has kept his nose clean his entire life and has always had a strong interest in national politics and government.

So why, he wanted to know, should he be denied the right to be represented in Congress?

President Bush was on television yesterday explaining why he feels it’s so important to keep fighting the war in Iraq. Nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens showed up to vote, he said, “to express their will about the future of their country.” Supporting that effort, in Mr. Bush’s view, is an important enough reason to send Americans off to fight and die in Iraq.

But in Washington, D.C., which has more than a half million residents, American citizens are denied the right “to express their will about the future of their country” by voting for members of Congress. And Mr. Bush has not only opposed their effort to right this egregious wrong, he has threatened to veto legislation that would give these D.C. residents — hold your breath — one seat in the House of Representatives.

Someone please explain why the president is sending young Americans to fight and die for democracy abroad while working vigorously to deny the spread of democracy to American citizens here at home. . .

President Bush and some of his mean-spirited, antidemocratic allies are determined at all costs to prevent this expansion of the franchise to decent, honorable Americans.

Read more. . .

Graphic via DC Vote

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

About Fred Thompson or Trouble in GOP Paradise

Quote of the Day

"I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression."
-- James Dobson, Focus on the Family,
Commenting on GOP
Big Daddy Dream Candidate Fred Thompson (R-TN)

Never let it be said that James Dobson does not have his good points. For one, without the Grand Old Patriarch, we wouldn't fall off our chair in hilarious liberal feminist laughter nearly so often.

As we know, if you ain't Christian in America, you can run, but you can't win. And if you're a Republican, and Dobson marks you as a non Christian, well, you better stay in Hollywood with all those other heathens. Sure, Thompson is polling as number three among the other old white male GOPers, but Daddy Dobson has spoken!

Somebody tell the folks over at the Fred Thompson is our Daddy blog, the dream born of desperation is so ovah! Face it guys, you are stuck with the cross-dresser.


Update: A column in the WaPo says Thompson's supporters are mostly from Tennessee and that if he does run, his Law and Order shows, even the reruns, will likely not be aired during the campaign. Will Law and Order fans stand for this?

Poll: Congress Should Force Rove to Testify

"In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday-Sunday, respondents said by nearly 3-to-1 that Congress should issue subpoenas to force White House officials to testify."

"By 68%-26%, those surveyed say the president should drop the claim of executive privilege in this case."

When asked if Congress should -- or should not -- investigate White House officials' role in PurgeGate, 72 percent said Yes, and 21 percent said No.

Meanwhile Gonzales ran away from a press conference in Chicago yesterday because he did not like the questions. The conference was scheduled to last for 15 minutes, Gonzales the scaredy cat ran away after two and a half minutes. Gonzales refused to comment on Monica Goodling's refusal to testify.

These people couldn't appear more guilty if they tried. C'mon Congress, summon Rove!

Joe Gandelman has more.

Nashville Schools Suspend 400 Students in Leave No T-Shirt Behind Policy

So here we are in Tennessee with one of the worst education systems in the free world, and what are the local schools up to? Why, they're suspending 400 high school students for failing to tuck in their shirts!

Unfortunately, I did not find this story at The Onion.

Hundreds of high school students here in Nashville returned from spring break to spend the school day wasting education time and wasting education dollars by sitting around all day in something called "in-school suspension." Did I mention that 400 students were suspended in one day?

Good freakin' grief people. How many ways are there to make high school a miserable prison-esque experience? I thought there were enough of them in place already.

As always, this bright idea comes down from a highly paid administrator who thinks his job is to turn teachers into fashion police, high school students into rebels, schools into prisons, and learning into an unpleasant chore. But how nice of Schools Director Pedro Garcia to promote homeschooling.

And it may well get worse. There's an effort afoot to force students to wear uniforms by next fall -- because if everyone looks exactly the same then students will "take education more seriously."

Oh, I get it. Schools are failing miserably at something called education so obviously the fault must lie with the clothes that kids are wearing. Good luck with that one. I have a better idea. Want to improve education? Close the schools, give all the kids computers, and send them home. I guarantee you this is a far better plan than spending the school day punishing kids for failing to dress like clones.

But look at that photo of Garcia! Doesn't that tie look a little gay to you? Is anybody paying attention to the clothes that this man is wearing? If you see Garcia making inappropriate fashion statements, snap a photo and send it to us. We will be watching Pedro Garcia to determine if he is making appropriate fashion statements because Pedro Garcia the Fashion Director is not getting the education thing right.

John McCain Supports Gay Marriage and Steals Bandwidth at MySpace

McCain Also Wants to Go for a Walk in Baghdad . . .

Hangin' with the kids over at MySpace has made John see the gay light, or come out in favor of gay marriage -- especially between "passionate" lesbians!

Okay, so John McCain is way too much of a boring old eunuchy fuddyduddy for that to ever happen. But he did steal the bandwidth.

Just like Lieberman, McCain hired amateur techies. The McCain campaign was stealing bandwidth, or hotlinking images from the site of Newsvine founder and CEO Mike Davidson.

So Davidson merely changed an image on his own site and voila -- straight-talking John McCain's MySpace page was telling the world the Senator from Arizona supports gay marriage! McCain's people were smart enough to take it down -- eventually, but not before it caused a whole lot of laughter.

The Wall Street Journal also has the graphic and is seriously informing the rightwing world that McCain is not really "advocating 'passionate females' get hitched after all."

Walking in Baghdad

But there's more funny McCain news. The Senator is seriously informing the world that it's so safe in Baghdad that you can go for walks on the street even. To which Michael Ware - a CNN reporter who has been in Baghdad for four years -- replies:

"I dont know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about. . . To suggest that there’s any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous. I’d love Sen. McCain to tell me where that neighborhood is and he and I can go for a stroll."

So, when is straight-talkin' McCain going to take that walk in Neverland?

Shakes has an even funnier McCain graphic.

Misogyny and Death Threats Aimed at Tech Blogger

Update & Bump: In a BBC story, Kathy Sierra is not shy about attributing the campaign against her to the fact that she is "a woman in the male-dominated technology world."

Robert Scoble, author of the popular technology blog Scobleize concurs: "It's this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop. I really don't care if you attack me. I take those attacks in my stride. But, whenever I post a video of a female technologist there invariably are snide remarks about body parts and other things that simply wouldn't happen if the interviewee were a man."

Techno-guru Kathy Sierra has received so much support that her story is number one at Technorati. A number of tech bloggers have temporarily suspended blogging as a show of support and solidarity. There is also talk of an anti-cyberbullying day on March 30. -- end of update--

I got so mad this morning about the sick death threats that caused tech blogger Kathy Sierra to cancel her presentation at the ETech conference that I ranted and raved instead of saying what I should have said.

Please go over and offer her a supportive comment. [Warning: there's some really gross stuff.)

Graphic via Kathy Sierra

How Many Scientists?

Real Science

Sometimes you read something about this administration that is just so shameful it takes your breath away. For me, that was the March 20 article in this paper detailing how a House committee had just released documents showing “hundreds of instances in which a White House official who was previously an oil industry lobbyist edited government climate reports to play up uncertainty of a human role in global warming or play down evidence of such a role.”

The official, Philip A. Cooney, left government in 2005, after his shenanigans were exposed in The Times, and was immediately hired by, of course, Exxon Mobil. Before joining the White House, he was the “climate team leader” for the American Petroleum Institute, the main oil industry lobby arm.

The Times article, by Andrew Revkin and Matthew Wald, noted that Mr. Cooney said his past work opposing restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions on behalf of the oil industry had “no bearing” on his actions at the White House. “When I came to the White House,” he testified, “my sole loyalties were to the president and his administration.” (How about loyalty to scientific method?) Mr. Cooney, who has no scientific background, said he had based his editing on what he had seen in good faith as the “most authoritative and current views of the state of scientific knowledge.”

Let’s see, of all the gin joints. Of all the people the Bush team would let edit its climate reports, we have a guy who first worked for the oil lobby denying climate change, with no science background, then went back to work for Exxon. Does it get any more intellectually corrupt than that? Is there something lower that I’m missing?

I wonder how Mr. Cooney would have edited the recent draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, written and reviewed by 1,000 scientists convened by the World Meteorological Society and the U.N. It concluded that global warming is “unequivocal,” that human activity is the main driver, and that “changes in climate are now affecting physical and biological systems on every continent.”

I am not out to promote any party, but reading articles like the Cooney one makes me say: Thank goodness the Democrats are back running the House and Senate — because, given its track record, this administration needs to be watched at all times.

Read more. . .

The Progressives Are Coming!

A Statewide Gathering of Progressives in Tennessee -- The Compass IV Conference -- Don't Miss It!

The great folks over at the Tennessee Alliance for Progress (TAP) have put together another exciting conference. This year's event will feature keynote speakers, David Sirota, author and journalist, and Paul Waldman, author and senior fellow at Media Matters.

Both authors will hold book signings -- you can help support the progressive cause in Tennessee by purchasing their books from TAP.

Paul Waldman is author of: Being Right Is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

David Sirota is author of: Hostile Takeover: How Big Business Bought Our Government and How We Can Take it Back.

The two-day lefty conference will take place on Friday & Saturday, April 13 and 14, at the Cohn Adult Learning Center, 4805 Park Avenue, West Nashville 37209. There will be workshops, films, music, a blogging panel on progressive politics in Tennessee and much much more. (If you are interested in the blogging panel, drop me a note in the comments or email me.)

The is THE progressive gathering of the year in Tennessee. You don't want to miss it! For more information, including registration details, see: COMPASS IV CONFERENCE.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Senate Democrats Are Close to Enough Votes for Troop Withdrawal Plan

Antiwar pressures are growing on Republican Sens. John Sununu, Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, and Gordon Smith -- All face reelection next year!

E. J. Dionne explains why the House passage of the troop withdrawal plan in the supplemental appropriations bill is "hugely significant," and why Bush is his own, and his party's, worst enemy.

Looming constitutional crisis or not, Dionne notes that the Senate is very close to having enough votes to pass the plan for troop withdrawals in 2008.

With most counts showing Senate Democrats needing only one more vote to approve the call for troop withdrawals next year, antiwar pressures are growing on Sens. John Sununu (R-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). All face reelection next year, as does Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), who is already seen as leaning toward the withdrawal plan.

One Bigoted U.S. Army Recruiter

I knew they'd lowered the standards in the military, but this is one really bigoted army recruiter!

NY Times: Gonzales Needs to Testify This Week!

The Times points out that it's looking more and more like crimes have been committed. Thus, three weeks is too long to wait for Alberto Gonzales to testify.

Gonzales needs to testify this week (in public, under oath, and with a transcript, please).

New York Times editorial:

The news that Monica Goodling, counsel to the attorney general and liaison to the White House, is invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination takes the United States attorney scandal to a new level.

. . . Ms. Goodling’s decision to exercise her Fifth Amendment rights suggests that she, at least, believes crimes may have been committed. . .

The more information that comes out, the more disturbing the firings look. Mr. Gonzales is scheduled to make a routine appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 17. But there is, as John McKay, a fired United States attorney from Washington State, put it, “a cloud over the Justice Department” right now. Mr. Gonzales should testify this week. The serious questions that have been raised about improper, and possibly illegal, actions in the Justice Department need to be investigated and answered without delay in full public view.

We Are All Sister-Outsiders

Zuzu over at Feministe writes about the death threats aimed at blogger Kathy Sierra and reminds me of why I so often feel like a sister-outsider, even -- or especially in the political blogosphere.

In a million ways our culture gives permission for the threats of sexualized violence that every woman lives with and pretty well every feminist blogger routinely receives in her inbox.

Or as Dr. Violet Socks says -- Oh yeah, patriarchy’s totally dead:

Every time I read somebody saying that patriarchy doesn’t exist anymore, feminism’s won, etc., etc., I think, try being a feminist blogger for a while. . . . Or try doing online research on anything connected to feminism and find yourself shoulder-deep in a slime pit of woman-hating so toxic it makes you want to weep with fear and despair. . .

This is not some isolated thing. Women in the blogosphere catch this stuff all the time. The most popular feminist bloggers rack up hundreds of these vomitous threats.

From Bill Maher's routine sexism to the assholes at Nashville Auto Diesel College, the many tried and true ways to trivialize and marginalize women and keep us out of the public sphere spill over from Real Time to virtual time. The only difference is that here in the blogosphere they are always documented.

You might merely aim to trivialize women's voices by calling us "girls." Or maybe you incorporate sexual objectification into your liberal comedy act. You might make obscene remarks about women-in-training to be auto mechanics, like every time we bend over to work on a fucking car.

Or maybe you send death and rape threats to women bloggers who blog about something other than babies and housework.

Or maybe you photoshop our mothers "into nothing more than an objectified sexual orifice." Yes, dear readers, this is the link -- from Kathy Sierra -- that sparked this post. Warning: Go with caution.

Misogyny is the tradition, and it comes in many forms. But the goal is always the same -- to marginalize and silence the voices of women. Or, as Zuzu notes:

[A]s we know, it doesn’t even take threats of violence to push women to the margins. All it takes is refusing to let them participate in substantive discussions, whether by discussing their fuckability, or shouting over them . . .

Or trivializing us because we are women or -- girls.

And whenever women go to the trouble of bringing up the subject of sexism, we're told we don't have a sense of humor, we are imagining things. You can't possibly be complicit in sexism cause you work for a woman. You are a better judge of sexism than any little ole woman or girl, because we are just too fucking sensitive to even be in the public sphere.

Yeah, we'll something stinks in the patriarchy, and it ain't our sense of humor.

Camp Casey Easter Sunday

Just imagine! Using a Christian holiday to protest your government's policy of sacrificing children to mindless war. Radical women just never learn.

We'd like to point to Al Gore and say that war is not a political issue, it's a moral issue. But alas, one of our political parties appears to have no morals.

From Cindy Sheehan and the Gold Star Families for Peace:

April 5- Easter Sunday April 8

"Once again the President will be home for the holidays. We as Gold Star Families for Peace have had our holidays forever tarnished by George Bush’s’ reckless policy of occupying Iraq. We will be returning to Camp Casey for our Easter holiday and we invite you to join us. Everyone is welcomed."

“Women are not at the peace table. We are not there where our commitment to peace, our capacities to find solutions through dialogue, debate, our sensitivities to human needs, human rights are sorely needed. Therefore, we still must press - from the outside." -- Margarita Chant Papandreou

". . . [T]he outsider will say, ‘in fact, as a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.’ "-- Virginia Woolf, in Three Guineas

You, Too, Can Be a Banker to the Poor

Fighting Poverty

For those readers who ask me what they can do to help fight poverty, one option is to sit down at your computer and become a microfinancier.

That’s what I did recently. From my laptop in New York, I lent $25 each to the owner of a TV repair shop in Afghanistan, a baker in Afghanistan, and a single mother running a clothing shop in the Dominican Republic. I did this through, a Web site that provides information about entrepreneurs in poor countries — their photos, loan proposals and credit history — and allows people to make direct loans to them.

So on my arrival here in Afghanistan, I visited my new business partners to see how they were doing.

On a muddy street in Kabul, Abdul Satar, a bushy-bearded man of 64, was sitting in the window of his bakery selling loaves for 12 cents each. He was astonished when I introduced myself as his banker, but he allowed me to analyze his business plan by sampling his bread: It was delicious.

Read more . . .

Monday, March 26, 2007

PurgeGate: Gonzales Aide Refuses to Testify

Gonzales Aide Takes the Fifth -- Attorney Says this is all the Democrats' Fault -- Democratic Meanies Laid "Perjury Traps"

In the nothing to hide in your lying and thieving Bush Administration department, the senior counselor to Attorney General Gonzales is invoking the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination rather than testify about Purgegate before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Do we still have a Fifth Amendment?

If we do still have a Bill of Rights, can the, um, U.S. Government take the Fifth?

Gonzales' aide -- Monica M. Goodling -- is on an "indefinite leave of absence" from the DoJ. Ms. Goodling has been accused of having something to do with the "less than candid" [lying] testimony of Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty.

But according to Ms. Goodling's attorney, it is the Democrats' fault that his client has decided to take the Fifth! The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee has laid a "perjury trap" for Ms. Goodling. And if you don't believe it, just look at what happened to Libby when he got caught in one of those mean old Democratic perjury traps, suggested Ms. Goodling's bizarro attorney. Where do they find these people?

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it was "disappointing" that Goodling has refused to testify.

"The American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodling's concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the committee under oath," Leahy said. [via memeorandum]

And from Lambert at Corrente: Progress: Christianist takes the fifth instead of outright lying

Red at BlondeSense
Susie Madrak
Steven D at Booman Tribune
The Heretik
Steve Soto
Taylor Marsh

Tom Delay Says Liberals Are Like Hitler

Video: The Bugman Makes an Ass of Himself on Prime Time TeeVee

Delay's effort to make a comeback is not going too well, but if he wants to move on to stand-up comedy, he might stand a chance.

"By charging this big lie, liberals have finally joined the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler." -- Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), in his new book No Retreat, No Surrender

Moving Democrats to the Left

As the country moves to the left -- and, yes, Tennessee too -- it's a good time to turn some very critical eyes toward some of our alleged Democrats, or DINOS.

Gannett reporter, Bill Theobald* looks at the National Journal scores for Middle Tennessee's U.S. Congressmen and finds that they rank among the most conservative Democrats in Congress.

Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Pall Mall, was ranked as the most conservative of the middle Tennessee Democrats, with his votes making him more conservative than 47 percent House members. Only eight other Democrats were counted as more conservative. He was followed by Rep. John Tanner, D-Union City; Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Murfreesboro; and Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tennessee. All were included in the publication's grouping of "centrists" in the House.

This is no surprise, but with the country moving left, we should definitely be able to do better come election day 2008.

You can check the scores yourself over at the National Journal.

To make matters worse, Lincoln Davis (D) actually voted against the recent bill that would bring the troops home from Iraq by September, 2008.

Lincoln Davis was the only member of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation who did not vote along party lines. [Contact him]

*[Theobald is the same reporter who authored a recent bizarro hit piece on Al Gore, which was featured on the front page of the Tennessean.]

Emerging Republican Minority

Turning Left
By Paul Krugman

Remember how the 2004 election was supposed to have demonstrated, once and for all, that conservatism was the future of American politics? I do: early in 2005, some colleagues in the news media urged me, in effect, to give up. “The election settled some things,” I was told.

But at this point 2004 looks like an aberration, an election won with fear-and-smear tactics that have passed their sell-by date. Republicans no longer have a perceived edge over Democrats on national security — and without that edge, they stand revealed as ideologues out of step with an increasingly liberal American public.

Right now the talk of the political chattering classes is a report from the Pew Research Center showing a precipitous decline in Republican support. In 2002 equal numbers of Americans identified themselves as Republicans and Democrats, but since then the Democrats have opened up a 15-point advantage.

Part of the Republican collapse surely reflects public disgust with the Bush administration. The gap between the parties will probably get even wider when — not if — more and worse tales of corruption and abuse of power emerge.

But polling data on the issues, from Pew and elsewhere, suggest that the G.O.P.’s problems lie as much with its ideology as with one man’s disastrous reign.

For the conservatives who run today’s Republican Party are devoted, above all, to the proposition that government is always the problem, never the solution. For a while the American people seemed to agree; but lately they’ve concluded that sometimes government is the solution, after all, and they’d like to see more of it.

Consider, for example, the question of whether the government should provide fewer services in order to cut spending, or provide more services even if this requires higher spending. According to the American National Election Studies, in 1994, the year the Republicans began their 12-year control of Congress, those who favored smaller government had the edge, by 36 to 27. By 2004, however, those in favor of bigger government had a 43-to-20 lead.

And public opinion seems to have taken a particularly strong turn in favor of universal health care. Gallup reports that 69 percent of the public believes that “it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have health care coverage,” up from 59 percent in 2000.

The main force driving this shift to the left is probably rising income inequality.

Read the whole thing . . .

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Lawmakers Term Al Gore a Tennessean of the Greatest Stature

Some of the local flat-earthers have been so hostile to Al Gore that it is gratifying to note that the state legislature has had the good sense to pass a resolution (SJR0143 - pdf) honoring the former Vice President.

According to the resolution -- which passed by an overwhelming majority -- the State of Tennessee honors Al Gore for his remarkably successful world-wide campaign to move the planetary emergency of global warming into the public discourse.

The resolution honors "a Tennessean of the greatest stature, whose tenacious quest to warn the world about global warming and to effect change culminated in the documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth.' "

The State of Tennessee honors Al Gore for "helping to shift U.S. public opinion on the need for urgent action to curb man-made emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming."

The resolution passed in the House by a vote of 82 to 2. Ten Republicans petulant flat-earthers abstained. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 30 to 0.

The state joke, Stacey Campfield (R) uttered some drivel about adding an amendment to name Gore the "hypocrite of the year," but everyone rolled their eyes and ignored the state joke.

It has been so long since we have seen one that we may not remember what one looks like. We may not recognize that Al Gore has become a statesman. -- Nicholas von Hoffman, The Nation

University of Florida Snubs Jeb Bush

Oppressed wealthy white Republicans for Diversity of Conservative Thought can't understand it, but the University of Florida won't be giving Jeb Bush an honorary degree.

The faculty senate nixed the idea with a vote of 38-28.

University of Florida President Machen was "tremendously disappointed." He said the snub was "unheard of."

Among his educational initiatives, Jeb Bush ended race-based affirmative action programs at Florida state universities. But rich white delusional dummies like his brother can still get in.

University officials said they could not recall any precedent for the Senate rejecting the nominees put forth by the Faculty Senate's Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials Committee. . . "The committee endorsed him," Machen said. "It is unheard of that a faculty committee would look at candidates, make recommendations and then (those candidates) be overturned by the Senate."

According to one conservative blogger, the snub proves that universities don't want Republicans.

You think?

Video: Impeach President PissyPants

Thanks to Al Rodgers at dkos - and he has lots more Sunday Funnies.

Impeach Alberto Gonzales

Okay, so there seems to be a theme emerging. I was thinking of impeaching Bush, but Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect, makes an excellent case for impeaching Alberto Gonzales.

That would really piss off pResident Pissypants. And it would move so much more quickly than an impeachment of the miserable pResident. The Bushies have so much to hide. Impeaching Gonzales may well be the quickest way to bring down the whole rotten stinking house. Just think, PissyPants would be throwing tantrums almost every day. The distraction could save god knows how many lives.

Boston Globe:

THE HOUSE of Representatives should begin impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Gonzales, the nation's highest legal officer, has been point man for serial assaults against the rule of law, most recently in the crude attempt to politicize criminal prosecutions. Obstruction of a prosecution is a felony, even when committed by the attorney general. . .

Why impeachment? In our system of checks and balances, the Senate confirms members of the Cabinet, but impeachment for cause is the only way to remove them. The White House, by refusing to cooperate, has now left Congress no other recourse.

. . . It's time for an impeachment, not just to oust Gonzales, but as a salutary warning to his superiors.

Read more . . .