Archive for October 31st, 2007

I’d Vote For Him

What Paul Waldman wants the Dem candidates to say to Timmeh:

You know what, Tim, I’m not going to answer that question. This is serious business. And you, sir, are a disgrace. You have in front of you a group of accomplished, talented leaders, one of whom will in all likelihood be the next president of the United States. You can ask them whatever you want. And you choose to engage in this ridiculous gotcha game, thinking up inane questions you hope will trick us into saying something controversial or stupid. Your fondest hope is that the answer to your question will destroy someone’s campaign. You’re not a journalist, you’re the worst kind of hack, someone whose efforts not only don’t contribute to a better informed electorate, they make everyone dumber. So no, I’m not going to stand here and try to come up with the most politically safe Bible verse to cite. Is that the best you can do?

The rest of the post is all about what a smug, self-important phony Russert is, and how the influence of Timmeh and other talking-head morons like him is making our electoral process a joke. Of course, we already knew that, but it’s still a pleasure to read someone state it so clearly.

(h/t bdr)

October 31st, 2007 at 10:38pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Media,Politics,Wankers

Edwards Rising

Okay, so I’m still not sold on Edwards as a campaigner, and I was disappointed with the way he let Amanda Marcotte and Shakes twist in the wind when the right wing flying monkeys began their sorties, but it does look like he “gets” it. In 2004, it was his “Two Americas” narrative about the cruel economic inequalities in this country, and this year he put his finger solidly on the root cause:

[T]he truth is the system in Washington is corrupt. It is rigged by the powerful special interests to benefit they very few at the expense of the many. And as a result, the American people have lost faith in our broken system in Washington, and believe it no longer works for ordinary Americans. They’re right.

As I look across the political landscape of both parties today — what I see are politicians too afraid to tell the truth — good people caught in a bad system that overwhelms their good intentions and requires them to chase millions of dollars in campaign contributions in order to perpetuate their careers and continue their climb to higher office.


I saw the chase for campaign money at any cost by the frontrunner in this race — and I did not join it — because the cost to our nation and our children is not worth the hollow victory of any candidate. Being called president while powerful interests really run things is not the same as being free to lead this nation as president of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people….


And what has happened to the American “can do” spirit? I will tell you what has happened: all of this is the result of the bitter poisoned fruit of corruption and the bankruptcy of our political leadership.

It is not an accident that the government of the United States cannot function on behalf of its people, because it is no longer our people’s government — and we the people know it.

This corruption did not begin yesterday — and it did not even begin with George Bush — it has been building for decades — until it now threatens literally the life of our democracy.

While the American people personally rose to the occasion with an enormous outpouring of support and donations to both the victims of Katrina and 9/11 — we all saw our government’s neglect. And we saw greed and incompetence at work. Out of more than 700 contracts valued at $500,000 or greater, at least half were given without full competition or, according to news sources, with vague or open ended terms, and many of these contracts went to companies with deep political connections such as a subsidiary of Haliburton, Bechtel Corp., and AshBritt Inc.


The long slow slide of our democracy into the corporate abyss continues unabated regardless of party, regardless of the best interests of America.

We have a duty — a duty to end this.

I believe you cannot be for change and take money from the lobbyists who prevent change. You cannot take on the entrenched interests in Washington if you choose to defend the broken system. It will not work.

It is extremely important to get this idea into the mainstream. The fact is that our political system is rigged so that ordinary citizens have as little influence as possible. It’s not the gays or the immigrants or the abortions that are dragging the country down, it’s a political system where the money that delivers votes is more important than the voters who cast them.

Apparently Edwards acquitted himself well in the debate yesterday, so hopefully that will give him a little extra oxygen to get his message out. If he can strengthen his antiwar position to full withdrawal, and highlight Hillary’s hedging on withdrawal and awful Kyl-Lieberman vote, he can pick up the progressives who are deserting Obama, and maybe peel off some of Hillary’s support as well.

I still like Dodd, who looks like more of a leader and a warrior to me, but his position on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants is disappointing. Not sure if this vaults Edwards over him in my estimation yet, but the gap is definitely narrowing.

October 31st, 2007 at 09:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Edwards,Elections,Politics

On Worthless Democrats

I used to think that it didn’t really make much difference whether a House or Senate seat was held by a fake Democrat or a real Republican, and the only benefit of the latter was if they got there by beating one of the former. I don’t want Democrats to believe that acting like Republicans is the key to electoral victory, you see. I would, however, prefer to retain a majority in at least one house, so that Democrats will have subpoena power to investigate the Bush administration’s many crimes.

But the latest anti-progressive Democratic outrage (by Harry Reid this time), solidified a change of my mind. I now believe that fake Democrats are far, far worse than real Republicans, regardless of how the latter got there. My reason is very simple, and very cynical: They poison the Democratic brand. They feed the destructive narrative that there’s no real difference between the two parties, they’re all corporate whores, so why bother voting for either of them.

On the surface, it sounds like I’m willing to cede control of the Congress to the Republicans for the sake of marketing, but the Democrats have already ceded that control – what more do we have to lose?

In addition, I am starting to believe that subpoena power is very much a mixed blessing: On the one hand, yes, Waxman and Leahy have uncovered a lot of administration horrors. But on the other hand, they have been unable to get beyond the Sternly Worded Letter and Unheeded Subpoena phase of their investigations. The real dirt remains covered, and the many criminals of BushCo. remain unaccountabilized.

The resulting message is that Republicans are corrupt, and Democrats can’t do anything about it. That’s not exactly an inspiring Election Day pitch: “We’re counting on you to get rid of the Republicans, because we sure can’t!”

Better Democrats, please.

2 comments October 31st, 2007 at 07:30pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics

Reid Must Go

This may be a new low for Harry Reid:

Former Colorado parks director Lyle Laverty’s confirmation to a top post in the U.S. Interior Department was pushed through the Senate on Monday while a member blocking the vote was home tending to his wife and newborn twins.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., for seven months had opposed Laverty’s confirmation as assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, demanding that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne address ethical lapses within the department.

On Friday, Wyden’s wife gave birth to twins, and the senator was in Oregon on paternity leave Monday when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., scheduled the vote.

“I am fuming,” said Scott Silver, co-founder of Wild Wilderness, an Oregon forest advocacy group. “If an effort was made to go around Wyden, knowing that he was with his wife in the hospital just becoming a father of twins, that is truly shameful.”

Wyden publicly placed a hold on Laverty’s nomination days after it was announced by President Bush in March.

Wyden’s office was notified Monday of the call for a vote, “and it was clear that Sen. Wyden had not lifted the hold,” said his chief of staff, Josh Kardon.


Reid on Oct. 4 addressed Vice President Dick Cheney on the Senate floor, saying he was working to clear Laverty’s name for the job that oversees the National Parks Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“But I have been unable to do that,” Reid said, according to the Congressional Record. “We have a member on our side with whom I have worked all afternoon. We thought we had it done once, but it did not work out. I am confident, though, it will work out.”

Reid is not only imitating Republicans on policy, but also on tactics. (Only against other Democrats, however.) It is absolutely disgusting that the Democrats tolerate a Majority Leader who is tough on progressives and soft on Republicans.

I don’t just want Reid out of the leadership, I want him out of the Senate.

(h/t Zappatero)

1 comment October 31st, 2007 at 06:27pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Wankers

More Boathouse Photoblogging

Some photos of the Boathouse itself; specifically, the roof.

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October 31st, 2007 at 11:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

This week, some helpful hints on how to get rid of annoying ghosts:

If you are one of the estimated 3.6 percent of the population plagued by otherworldly houseguests, the following tips will help you exorcise your spectral pests once and for all.

o Be Mean. Ghosts hate to be teased. If you knew the ghost when it was alive, dredge up the most embarrassing moment of its life and taunt it unmercifully.

o Shower in a Bathing Suit. Many spirits will haunt your home hoping to catch a glimpse of some skin, so cover up!

o Become a Slob. The afterlife is quite tidy, by all accounts, and ghosts can’t stand grime. Don’t do the dishes, leave dirty underwear lying around, and eat chili, lots of chili (especially if the phantom is haunting your toilet).

Now that’s Weekly World News you can use.

2 comments October 31st, 2007 at 07:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

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