Monday, September 05, 2005

I Believe in Government

I believe in government.

I believe government can help citizens. Raise them up. Shore them up. Give them a firm groud to build their own ladder on.

Other's don't believe government can. "Private sector." "Marketplace." "Big government is bad." They say.

And now in charge, it would seem that they have created a government that can't, when in the past, government could.

Before They Had a Plan to Help...

Before they even had a plan to help, the Bush Administration had a plan to blame.

NY Times:

Under the command of President Bush's two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.

The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett. It began late last week after Congressional Republicans called White House officials to register alarm about what they saw as a feeble response by Mr. Bush to the hurricane, according to Republican Congressional aides.

Let's get one thing straight: EVERYONE deserves blame for this. Democrats. Republicans. The mayor. The governor. The Senate. The President. EVERYONE.

Some people get that.

And some don't.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Angry... just so very, very angry... and sad

We were supposed to be planning on how to deal with something of this magnitude for the last four years. What if this had been a dirty bomb or multiple attacks on major cities or something even worse?

The National Guard should have been mobilized BEFORE the storm and been in the city DAYS ago. And FEMA... Jesus, what the hell happened to FEMA?

The government at ALL levels should be criticized for a good long time over this and should be made 100% accountable and taken to task.

This was a collosal failure. The government failed its citizens. It failed its poorest citizens. It is unconscionable.

This isn't an anti-Republican thing, this isn't an anti-Democrat thing, this isn't an anti-Bush thing.

Democrats failed these people. Republicans failed these people. Independents failed these people. Local government failed these people. State government failed these people. Federal government failed these people.

There should NEVER have been a time (post-hurricane) when it was unsafe for the President of the United States of America to be in New Orleans.

There's plenty of blame to go around for this collosal screw up and anyone and everyone on the receiving end of that blame mother-fucking DESERVES it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

She was a red herring.

It's John G. Roberts, Jr.

I'm still filtering through all the information. Maybe I'll actually put something, you know, smart, up. Later, though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Is Clement a red herring?

From Redstate via John Cole

Something has happened in the past ten minutes. I’ve had three five (they keep IM’ing) people from the media and conservative think tanks IM to say we’re on a wild goose chase—the conservative think tank people say its an intentional one. According to them, we should not be looking at Edith Clement, but at her cohort on the Fifth Circuit, Edith H. Jones a/k/a the Female Scalia.

My money is on Clement still, but it is interesting how, by the time I’ve finished writing this post seven people have IM’ed to say it is Jones, not Clement.

the Female Scalia? Not gonna make too many people happy there, but that's quite a connundrum.

You've got to be kidding me.

What a load of crap. From the Albany Times Union

A federal panel may recommend lifting the exemptions on some employer-provided benefits

First published: Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul. Even as President Bush continues to push Congress to make permanent his 10-year, $1.2 trillion tax-cut plan, a federal task force is studying the possibility of taxing workers' health insurance benefits. It's difficult to see how Mr. Bush could ever support such a move. He's been saying for years that Americans are overtaxed. It's more difficult to see how a Republican-led Congress would go along with what would surely be a tax increase on millions of workers and their employers.

Yet it could happen, as reported in a Knight Ridder article printed in this newspaper Sunday. That's because groups on the left and right see merit in the idea, and Congress and the White House are under pressure to find revenue to shore up Social Security and Medicare in coming years.

Company-provided health care benefits have been tax-exempt since the days of World War II, and employers have been allowed to deduct the costs from taxable income. But progressives note that many low-wage workers either have no employer coverage, or bare-bones benefits at most. By contrast, workers earning $75,000 a year or more almost always have company-provided comprehensive coverage. Thus, the critics say, the exemption is a break for the affluent. Conservative groups note that as long as the employer is paying most, or all, of the premiums, workers have little sense of the real cost of health care and tend to make excessive use of their benefits. Because of the tax exemptions, taxpayers subsidize such excesses.

In place of the current system, the task force, known as the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, is said to be examining a plan that would allow employers to provide tax-exempt health coverage up to a certain dollar limit. Benefits that exceeded the limit would be treated as taxable income.


Congress should search for other ways to raise revenue for Social Security and Medicare, such as lifting the $90,000 cap on the payroll tax and repealing some Bush tax cuts that benefit the affluent. But health coverage shouldn't become a political football.

Yeah, it shouldn't become a political football, but it already is. Anyone who supports this will lose my support for a long time.

Monday, July 18, 2005

For those of you who don't like Dean...

Got a present for you.

Dean's been in the Western states, and being well recieved.

In Montana with 450, converting the Democratic chairman:
"We will promise you a balanced budget, and we will get government out of people's lives," Dean said.

"Republicans say that they are a party of small government, just small enough to fit inside Terri Schiavo's bedroom," Dean said. "Republicans say they're in favor of small government, but they don't mind telling women what they can or cannot do with their health care.

"Whatever happened to the rugged individualism in the Republican Party?" Dean asked. "It is very much alive and well in the Democratic Party."

"Only Democrats balance the budget," Dean said. "You cannot trust Republicans with your taxpayer money. Borrow and spend. Borrow and waste. That's what the Republican Party stands for. We will do better."

...New Montana Democratic Party Chairman Dennis McDonald, of Melville, who had earlier expressed reservations about Dean and said he didn't want photograph taken with him, had a different view after hearing the DNC chairman's speech.

"I loved the positive speech, and I loved the positive message," McDonald said. He added that he told Dean he was honored to get his picture taken with him.
In Utah, the 285-seat auditorium overflowed, filling two other rooms with more than 500 total:
Dean drew some of his biggest applause by defining the Democratic position on abortion.

"I'm tired of Republicans telling us we're pro-abortion. I served on the board of Planned Parenthood for five years. I don't know anybody who's pro-abortion," he said. "Most people in this country would like to see the abortion rate go down. That includes Democrats and Republicans. The difference between the parties is that we believe a woman makes that decision about her health care -- and they believe Tom Delay makes it."
In Idaho, 500 in Boise's Julia Davis Park:
"We didn't quite win in Idaho the last time, but we're not quitting," he said. "People say, 'Why'd you come here? This is a Republican state,' but they're wrong.

"This is a libertarian area. We're going to win on a Western platform next time."
Those are all local links, and there was plenty of local TV coverage as well, if you look through Google, but nothing from the national media outlets, they are content with their Republican-feed meme of Howard Dean and the Democratic Party as the angry Dems. The best thing that Dean can do is continue to ignore DC, and continue to grind away in the states and raise the small donor effort to fund the Democratic Party. He's doing an excellent job.

I'll let Kos explain everything.

We're not going to win Idaho next time, on any platform. But we can start chipping away. A "Western platform" is the future of the Democratic Party, and one that I embrace to my very core -- fiscal and personal responsibility, rugged individualism, freedom to live one's life without government intrusion into the doctor's office or the bedroom. The intersection of libertarianism, good government, and economic populism.

It's good that Dean is preaching that gospel, and it's awesome that it's being well received in the West.

Friday, July 15, 2005

By the way

Gone for the weekend (maybe something on Sunday, we'll see), but if you need something to read, check out Your Mom's Basement. Some good geekery over there. Got some comics stuff, got a good review of a Batali restaurant in NYC, and my midseason awards ceremony for MLB. Take a look.


So Duke Cunningham, a California Republican and member of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee who was basically taking bribes from a defense contracter (see Josh Marshall's TPM for more), announced he won't be seeking reelection. Hopefully that won't stall any criminal investigation, because quite honestly, the guy should be in prison. But that's not what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is midterm strategy for Dems. Because Duke isn't a fluke, Duke is a trend. Cunningham, Rove, Iraqi Intelligence, these things should ALL be a giant freaking boulder tied to the neck of every Republican running for election. They should be outright asked if they support these actions. Every moron who signed on to the "Rove Defense" idea should have that brought up at every debate. "Why do you support a criminal, Mr./Mrs. Such and Such?"

There is a pattern of corruption and abuse of power, and if the Democrats can't capitalize, it's time for a new party.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thrice in one day!

Sweet christ, when it rains, it pours.

GOP Action Alert from today! Don't know why I signed up for this crap, I guess a "know your enemy" type thing.

Lincoln's Legacy - The history of the Republican Party and our record of civil rights achievements. Republican historian Michael Zak sets the record straight and tells the story of GOP outreach over the past 150 years.

Is there an accepted way to type "trying to stifle laughter"? Thank God for the GOP and their struggles for civil rights.

Also, if you're bold enough to go to the website, they've got a podcast with former Reagan speechwriter Crazy Jesus Lady. I have to go to bed soon, so I can't listen to it or I won't sleep, but if you're feeling lucky and don't mind the taste of your own bile, go nuts.

Santorum is a Douchebag

Santorum (D for Douchebag) has been pissing and moaning about Boston being the source of all pedophilia, and Ted Kennedy called him on it today. Ricky's response?

The abuse, Traynham said, "was particularly worse in Boston and the reason why, according to the senator, is because of some of the social institutions that call Boston home. When you take a look at Harvard University and some of the other universities in Boston, I think it's an open secret that there is a liberal bias, unfortunately."

So it's HARVARD'S fault that pedophilia exists? By Santorum's logic, doesn't that "liberal culture" infect students there as well? Wait! Fearless Leader went to Harvard?

Is Santorum calling the President a kiddie-fiddler?

Side note: Traynham, Santorum's director of communications? He's a little light in the loafers.


back again...

Don't know why, but I've been getting the itch recently, and this is the tree I'm using to scratch it.

Republicans Defend Karl Rove From Partisan Attacks


Contact: Tracey Schmitt

Senators And Congressman Rally Around Rove

Republican Senators Defend Karl Rove:

NRSC Chairwoman Elizabeth Dole (R-NC): “The Partisan Attacks Against Karl Rove Are Out Of Control And Entirely Inappropriate. He Is A Distinguished Member Of The White House And He Is My Friend.” (National Republican Senatorial Committee, “Elizabeth Dole Statement On Karl Rove,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

* Dole: “It Is Incredibly Irresponsible For Individuals And Organizations To Make Accusations Based On Rumor And Innuendo. It Is Unfair To The Investigation And Even More Unfair To Karl Rove.” (National Republican Senatorial Committee, “Elizabeth Dole Statement On Karl Rove,” Press Release, 7/13/05)

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): “My Democratic Friends Would Be Doing The Nation A Great Service If They Spent Half As Much Time Getting Legislation Passed That Will Benefit The Country As They Do In Attacking Karl Rove.” (Sen. Norm Coleman, Press Release, 7/13/05)

* Coleman: “We Have Enough To Do In The Senate In Minding Our Own Business Than To Be Sticking Our Noses Into Someone Else’s Business. Everyone Needs To Cool The Rhetoric, Focus On The Business Of The People, And Allow The Investigation To Run Its Course.” (Sen. Norm Coleman, Press Release, 7/13/05)

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA): “I Don’t See Any Evidence Out There That He Violated The Law.’’ (Richard Keil and Holly Rosenkrantz, “Rove’s Role In Spy Inquiry Reverberates Throughout Capital,” Bloomberg, 7/12/05)

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT): “In All Honesty, The Facts Thus Far – And The E-Mail Involved – Indicate To Me That There Is Not A Problem Here…” (Jim VandeHei, “GOP On Offense In Defense Of Rove,” The Washington Post, 7/13/05)

Hatch: “I Have Always Thought This Is A Tempest In A Teapot." (Jim VandeHei, “GOP On Offense In Defense Of Rove,” The Washington Post, 7/13/05)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “If Anyone Thought The Anger And Political Sniping That Infested The Capital During The Campaign Would End After The Election, They Were Flat Wrong. Partisan Attacks In Lieu Of The Facts Have Replaced Ideas, Action And Cooperation.” (Sen. John Cornyn, “Attacks On Rove ‘More Anger And Political Sniping,’” Press Release, 7/13/05)


Is it just me, or do people who Capitalize Every Word In Every Sentence Seem A Little Bit Retarded?

They also forgot to add the part of the article where, while making his statement, Santorum was nuzzling something that bore a passing resemblance to an overripe tomato.