Monday, August 27, 2007

ATTN: Dems - Stop being such WUSSES!!!

by Rich Miles

Had a little conversation with some folks over at the other day. Here's what they said:

Hey, Dems: Run against Bush -- and toughen up -- or lose in '08

And here's what I said in reply: much to agree with

Let's start with this little gem:

Elections are won and lost on associations, and right now, unless there's another terrorist attack on our soil in the next 18 months, the connection to George Bush is going to be a tremendous liability for any candidate ...

What a sad state America has reached, when it's even conceivable that our government could do such a thing - create such an attack intentionally. But the trust is lost, for me at least, and it will be a long time coming back if ever. Thus I can't say with certainty that there's no way this could happen - and neither can any of you.

I have said for years that the reason, in a nutshell, that Dems keep losing is that they are too polite. It's a broad generalization, but I believe it's apt. We have for so long - I'm talking 40 years or more - tried not to stoop to the level of the Reps' nastiness, and in so doing have allowed the nastiness to go unanswered and thus to become part of the national meme. It's as if we thought that if we just ignored the ill-bred, rude little bastards long enough, that they would go away.

I think we see now, and have been seeing for at least as long as the Karl Rove era, how well that belief structure works.

Westen mentions Al Gore and the 2000 debates - specifically, I remember Bush trotting out that old "Gore claims to have invented the Internet" crapola, and Gore did not respond to it, except possibly with an audible sigh. Surely, said most Americans who saw it or heard about it, if it were untrue Gore wouldn't have allowed Bush to get away with saying it, right?

And thus, due to lack of response, that story became part of the national mythos, and for a fair whack of Americans, remains so to this day.

Westen offers a scenario for Obama in which he might get the Coulter beast off his back, and perhaps shame her into stopping the schoolyard mocking of his middle name - let me take it a step further, and posit that what *I* want, and what I sense quite a number of my leftish colleagues want, is a general sense of the Dem candidates and Members of both Houses of Congress to start standing up to the Rep slime machine, to start, in essence, saying "STFU" to quite a lot of the crap the R's are putting out. But they won't, except at a very low level and very VERY occasionally.

And THAT is what I'm sick of, THAT is why Congress's approval rating is lower even than Bush's - I am overweeningly weary of seeing my party's leaders TAKING THE SHIT LYING DOWN YET AGAIN.

In addition to the current batch of freshman Dems mentioned in this story, see also the actions of Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY). He's not my congressman - I'm one district over and am stuck with Ron Lewis (R-Wingnuttia) - but I wish he were.

OK, to avoid going to book length, here's the story, Dems: good manners ain't gonna feed the bulldog.

I know it's arguable that the very qualities that caused you to choose to be a Dem to begin with might also be the very reasons that being tough in public discourse is so distasteful to you (and conversely, those qualities that make a person a Repug are exactly the ones that allow them to use such disgusting rhetoric etc. with no apparent pangs of conscience.)

But listen: if you get nothing else from this article, and my comment, and that of the others who are before and after me, get this:

You MUST learn to be sonsabitches when dealing with the Reps, or you will cease to exist as a political entity.

And so might America as a nation. Or at least as the nation we've thought we were for 200+ years.

We, the voters who put you there, have already given you permission to be SOB's. We can always fire you, as easily as we hired you, if you won't. November 08 ain't that far away.

And you know I ain't kiddin'.

Permalink to this Salon comment:

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Don't Forget these names

by Rich Miles
August 5, 2007

UPDATE with names of Dem Senators below.

I'm not the only one posting this. That's a good thing. Here are the names of the 41 Democratic members of Congress and the 16 Dem senators who voted for the dismemberment of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also known as S.1927, the black-comedically named "Protect America Act of 2007."

All the congresspersons and several of the senators are up for re-election next year.



In Congress:
Jason Altmire (4th Pennsylvania)
John Barrow (12th Georgia) Blue Dog
Melissa Bean (8th Illinois) Blue Dog
Dan Boren (2nd Oklahoma) Blue Dog
Leonard Boswell (3rd Iowa)
Allen Boyd (2nd Florida) Blue Dog
Christopher Carney (10th Pennsylvania) Blue Dog

Ben Chandler (6th Kentucky) Blue Dog - this sonofabitch is from MY STATE. He's not going back to Congress in 2009. Count on it, Ben ol' son!

Rep. Jim Cooper (5th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Jim Costa (20th California) Blue Dog
Bud Cramer (5th Alabama) Blue Dog
Henry Cuellar (28th Texas)
Artur Davis (7th Alabama)
Lincoln Davis (4th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Joe Donnelly (2nd Indiana) Blue Dog
Chet Edwards (17th Texas)
Brad Ellsworth (8th Indiana) Blue Dog
Bob Etheridge (North Carolina)
Bart Gordon (6th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (South Dakota) Blue Dog
Brian Higgins (27th New York)
Baron Hill (9th Indiana) Blue Dog
Nick Lampson (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Daniel Lipinski (3rd Illinois)
Jim Marshall (8th Georgia) Blue Dog
Jim Matheson (2nd Utah) Blue Dog
Mike McIntyre (7th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Charlie Melancon (3rd Louisiana) Blue Dog
Harry Mitchell (5th Arizona)
Colin Peterson (7th Minnesota) Blue Dog
Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota) Blue Dog
Ciro Rodriguez (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Mike Ross (4th Arkansas) Blue Dog
John Salazar (3rd Colorado) Blue Dog
Heath Shuler (11th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Vic Snyder (2nd Arkansas)
Zachary Space (18th Ohio) Blue Dog
John Tanner (8th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Gene Taylor (4th Mississippi) Blue Dog
Timothy Walz (1st Minnesota)
Charles A. Wilson (6th Ohio) Blue Dog

In the Senate:
(The Senate vote was 60-28. Both parties had agreed to require 60 votes for passage. That means that any ONE Democratic Senator who voted Aye could have defeated this bill by voting Nay.)

I will post the names of the Senators who voted for this bill as soon as I can find them. Not sure why I'm having so much trouble finding them, since the Senate vote took place before the House vote and those were easy to find.

If you have them, post them or a link as a comment here, please. Thanks.

Roll Call vote #309, 110th Congress 1st Session, not available on THOMAS as of Sunday Aug. 5 at 5:00pm.

UPDATE: Found the Senate slugspawn: There are some REALLY disappointing names on this list:

US Senate: Evan Bayh (Indiana); Tom Carper (Delaware); Bob Casey (Pennsylvania); Kent Conrad (North Dakota); Dianne Feinstein (California); Daniel Inouye (Hawai‘i); Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota); Mary Landrieu (Louisiana); Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas); Claire McCaskill (Missouri); Barbara Mikulski (Maryland); Bill Nelson (Florida); Ben Nelson (Nebraska); Mark Pryor (Arkansas); Ken Salazar (Colorado); Jim Webb (Virginia).

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Day Hope Dies and Despotism Thrives

by Rich Miles
Aug 4, 2007

Senate Gives in on Wiretapping. 16 Dems Go Along.

TWO UPDATES BELOW - Second update is to several links explaining this "legislation"

Was talking to a friend the other day, someone who, while of a progressive/liberal turn of mind, didn't USED to be very politically active.

Anyway, in the course of a conversation about how the Bushies seem dead set on world domination and fascism, she brought a tear to my eye with just one sentence.

She said, "I just get so tired of the bad guys winning all the time."

Even after the much-ballyhooed "November revolution" last year; even after the supposed "good guys" wrested control of not one but BOTH Houses of Congress from the forces of Darkness that had held sway over all for 6 years; even after it had started to appear that the People had awakened from their long slumber, and their elected representatives would live up to their obligation to serve those who elected them - even after all that, things like the top link keep happening.

Our alleged "good guys" keep knuckling under to the neocons. Even some of our totemic heroes, like Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb, voted FOR this extension of even greater tyranny to the Bush administration.

Got it? They made evil LEGAL. It used to be ILlegal, but they made it LEGAL. They did it just because the Bush center of evil told to them to.

So now, one has to ask:

What hope can there be? Who can we turn to now, when even those we elected to save America haven't the courage to stand up to this batch of unalloyed evil that is the Bush White House?

How can the good guys EVER win again?

Or perhaps the real question is - are there any good guys left?

UPDATE: The House of Representatives passed the bill.

They politicked it absolutely perfectly. Beat the ASSES of the Democrats, practically (and in 41 cases, actually) forced them each and severally to press that Yea button.

How long is this going to go on? How long is the minority going to keep calling the shots? This bill could have been defeated if all the Democrats had voted against it - but 41 so-called "librul Dems" voted FOR giving this corrupt and fascistic administration even MORE power to fuck us.

Could someone please tell me: why is this new law NOT the same thing as the White House saying, "We know Alberto Gonzales is a total toady and fuckup. So we're going to give him vast new powers to spy on the American people"?

I mean, is there any other way to interpret this? And is there any other way to see the whole episode than as another nail in the coffin of the U.S. Constitution?

UPDATE 2: Links to the shit that hit the fan:

More Surveillance: No, Don't Stop to Think

It's Official, We Are a Police State (written by a former citizen of the Soviet Union)

The Stench of Weakness Pervades our Capital this Weekend

There are or will be more...