Saturday, January 05, 2008

On the Road

Having stopped overnight in a solitary hotel in Farmerstown, which is either in Illinois or Missouri (it doesn't much matter), we've made it to my folks' house in North Little Rock. Good times, and tomorrow, we are back on the road, heading to Austin...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008


There are other reasons why some Repubs don't like Romney:
I hesitate to give too much attention to Mike Huckabee's promote-my-ad-for-free attack, but Michael Crowley raises a good point.

About mid-way through the ad, during a litany of accusations against Mitt Romney, Huckabee criticizes his rival with this data point: "No executions."

Apparently, Huckabee -- you know, the evangelical, pro-life Republican -- is going after Romney for not having executed any Americans during his gubernatorial tenure.

I realize Republican politics are far more crass than norms should allow, but it's disconcerting to think "You didn't kill anyone" has suddenly become a criticism in conservative circles.

"Suddenly" might be a bit off, but the point is well made.



Anyone who deems the Clinton years in any way more "embarrassing" than the Bush years must be deemed incompetent to rule:
Republican Mitt Romney said Wednesday that if elected president he and his wife will not embarrass the nation by their conduct in the White House as happened in "the Clinton years."


It's Good to Dream

Ah, impeachment:
A House Resolution to impeach U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, Dennis Kucinich's H.R. 799, is gathering more support. The national impeachment continues to grow and generate increasing interest since being referred to the House Judiciary Committee last month, a Kucinich spokesperson said.

As a member of that committee, Representative Robert Wexler and two other committee members, Luis Gutierrez and Tammy Baldwin, have joined together in demanding that the legal action against Cheney moves forward.

Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida is just one elected official who says the charges are too serious to ignore.

"There is credible evidence that the Vice President abused the power of his office, and not only brought us into an unnecessary war but violated the civil liberties and privacy of American citizens. It is the constitutional duty of Congress to hold impeachment hearings"



Edwards speaks out in favor of a quick departure from Iraq:
John Edwards says that if elected president he would withdraw the American troops who are training the Iraqi army and police as part of a broader plan to remove virtually all American forces within 10 months.

Mr. Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina who is waging a populist campaign for the Democratic nomination, said that extending the American training effort in Iraq into the next presidency would require the deployment of tens of thousands of troops to provide logistical support and protect the advisers.

“To me, that is a continuation of the occupation of Iraq,” he said in a 40-minute interview on Sunday aboard his campaign bus as it rumbled through western Iowa.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Shanty New Year!

Good luck putting a roof over your head:
Defaults on privately insured U.S. mortgages rose 35 percent in November to a record, an industry report today showed, adding to evidence the U.S. housing slump is deepening.


Yes, the Pope Is Crazy

And gays are a threat to world peace:
Pope Benedict ushered in the New Year on Tuesday by criticising policies that undermine the traditional family, saying they eroded one of the most important foundations for peace in the world.
"Those who are hostile, even unknowingly, to the institution of the family ... make peace fragile for the entire national and international community," the Pope told crowds gathered in a sunny St. Peter's Square.


Monday, December 31, 2007

Basket Cases

Some kitties for the new year!

(posted by miriam, posing as rorschach)


Yet More Reason to Oppose Obama

Jesus, is this guy taking his every play from the GOP playbook?

Is Barack Obama broadening his criticism of John Edwards to suggest that his lucrative trial lawyer past indicates less of a commitment to public service than Obama has?

That's what The Washington Post concluded in a piece on an Obama campaign appearance yesterday, at which he discussed his family's relatively modest means:

In one of his standard riffs, Obama asserts that his career choices -- community organizer, civil rights lawyer, elected official -- underscores his commitment to public service and to bringing about political and social change. He always mentions the lucrative job offers he turned down, but today he added a new line.

"That's why I didn't become a trial lawyer," Obama told the Newton audience -- a clear dig at Edwards, who made millions in the courtroom.

In response, the Edwards campaign said that nothing they could say could respond as effectively as this video they sent us of Sandy Lakey, the mother of a little girl who was injured because of a faulty drain cover in a swimming pool and who was subsequently represented in court by Edwards.


New Unions in New Hampshire

Well done!
New Hampshire is becoming the fourth state to legalize civil unions and about 20 couples decided to be the first to take advantage of the new law with a late-night ceremony on the Statehouse steps.


No to Obama

So we've got Hillary Clinton, who is center-right at best. And now we've got Barack Obama spouting right-wing anti-government rhetoric to defend his non-universal health care plan.

What can one say but, "Go Edwards!"
If you're following the politics of the Iowa Democratic caucus contest, you're familiar with the dust-up surrounding Barack Obama's health care plan, AFSCME's critique of it, his labeling of union's [sic] as "special interests" (as I read in a recent Paul Krugman column), the anti-government rhetoric the Senator has used to defend the absence of a mandate from his health insurance plan and the fact that it does not cover 15 million Americans.

Let's start with Obama's health insurance plan: it is the only "universal" health insurance proposal on the presidential trail that does not cover every American. The simple fact is that it leaves 15 million Americans without the medical care they need. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards' plans do not leave anyone behind. This is the difference that the AFSCME political action committee has pointed out in the direct mail piece that the Obama campaign has been complaining about in the media.

What's more, as Krugman has pointed out, Obama has used anti-government rhetoric to defend his position on health care and Social Security. In so doing, he makes the right-wing's argument about public services and unions. This is unacceptable, especially at a time when it is so important to promote a vibrant trade movement.

People can debate the details of the candidate's plans but the biggest difference that matters is that Barack Obama's plan does not cover 15 million people. There are clearly different policy ways to achieve the goals of controlling costs and providing quality health care for all. But you can't cover everyone if your plan does not even intend to do so.


America's Gift to Syria

Thanks to Bush's war, the sex trade is booming:
A score of young Iraqi women in tight, shimmering gowns shuffle across the nightclub dance floor under the hungry eyes of Gulf Arabs at nearby tables.

The band blasts out Iraqi songs into the early hours as the watching youths join the dancing or summon girls to sit with them -- there is little pretence about what gets transacted at this neon-lit nightspot half an hour's drive north of Damascus.

The dancers, some in their early teens, do not want to talk, but one said she had no other way to support her family.

"My father was killed in Baghdad and our money is finished," muttered the dark-haired girl in a black and silver dress.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR calls it "survival sex", a desperate way to cope for Iraqi refugees whose savings have run out since they escaped the violence at home.


Happy New Year

Just think, in a year's time we'll all be preparing the boot for Bush's backside.