We are the 99%

November 30, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

We just got back from New England. Not sure I can write up Jack column.

BTW, the pizza in Southern Connecticut is simply the best.

Especially with Foxon Park sodas.

November 26, 2008

trying not to engage in schadenfreude while still getting the irony

On the news that Ann Coulter's jaw has been wired shut.

I'd prefer that she not be heard from because nobody gave a shit what she had to say.

(h/t to Shakesville for the link to the above post.)
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Obama Family Volunteers at Food Bank


From HuffPo:
CHICAGO - President-elect Barack Obama and his wife took their daughters to work at a food bank on the day before Thanksgiving, saying they wanted to show the girls the meaning of the holiday, especially when so many people are struggling.
(More photos and video here.)

Their visit comes at a time when:
[T]he number of Americans needing assistance from the Simplified Nutrition Assistance Program (i.e., food stamps) will reach its highest level ever this month. This comes on the heels of the USDA reporting last week that 12.2% of all Americans struggled with hunger in 2007...
And:
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims: 4-Week Moving Average at 25 Year High
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From My Friend Sue

My friend Sue, who posts over at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents has posted:
Dear Friends:

I am writing to you with a simple plea for help to make the holidays a bit more merry and bright for the individuals and families we serve at Community Human Services (CHS).

As you may know, the reason people need help at this time of the year is that they have limited resources. People living with severe and persistent mental illness typically rely on social security. Their housing and basic needs like toiletries and food take most of what they make so they do not have the financial resources to buy things like clothes, electric razors, toiletries beyond basic soap and toothpaste, shoes, etc. The same is true of our individuals and families experiencing homelessness; everything really goes to basic needs of shelter and food. Parents struggle to get new clothes or toys/ books for their children. They also struggle to get things for themselves and usually their needs come last after their children. The holidays are stressful for both groups because they don’t have the luxury of a holiday meal or gifts; they are lucky to have a roof, clothes and possibly food.

We invite you to join us in our holiday projects and made a tangible difference during what promises to be a very economically challenging holiday season. You can participate in one of two very concrete ways, by sponsoring a “Giving Tree” or by adopting a family. In either case, CHS will provide you with basic demographic information and holiday wishes from the person(s) you choose to serve this season.

For nearly 40 years, CHS has been providing services to residents of South Oakland and the larger Pittsburgh community, ranging from afterschool programs to residential programs for adults living with a mental illness. Our programming extends the notion of care and celebration to places where people live and work, rather than operating from one central location. These "new" systems that mix professionals and indigenous persons to provide services reflect a need in our culture to mix informal community rituals with the more formal supports and interventions. Such a system integrates people and helps reestablish community while assisting persons at risk.

With your help, we can ensure that the individuals and families we serve experience some joy during these holidays. To participate, please contact me at 412- 246-1629 or skerr@chscorp.org. We are able to accept donations throughout December and our staff can make arrangements to assist with picking up donations.

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.chscorp.org/Holidays.htm.

Thank you for your support.

Sue Kerr MSW
Director of Residential Programs
Her blog has the details as well as links.

PS: As this is not my usual political posting, I'm turning off the comments.

November 25, 2008

Crazy Cult Set to Protest Baker Knoll Funeral

Those krazy kids from Fred Phelp's "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church are planning to protest today's funeral in Pittsburgh for Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll.

According to their website, http://www.godhatesfags.com (yeah, that's the name of the "church's" website), they plan to be all over the Burgh today:

11/25/2008 07:45 AM - 08:30 AM Pittsburgh, PA
Croatia Consulate - God Hates Croatia Croatia 100 Delaney Drive Are you kidding me? Of course God Hates Croatia. They know that the curses of God abide upon them. All these centuries they have gone after false gods, and went about to establish their own form of government, and the whole world knows they are violent beasts in that nation...

11/25/2008 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Pittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh - God Hates You! Forbes Ave & Bellefield Ave I do not know what their little school calls themselves, I only know that if you are in that evil state - you are nasty...

11/25/2008 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Pittsburgh, PA
UK Consulate - God Hates your Whorish Royal Family!...

11/25/2008 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Pittsburgh, PA
St. Paul Cathedral - Baker Knoll is in HELL! Fifth Ave at Craig Street We will picket this evil woman's funeral...

11/25/2008 12:15 PM - 12:45 PM Pittsburgh, PA
Italy Consulate - God REALLY Hates Italy...now this will be a spicey meatball for these high-country hypocrites to swallow with their fancy wines and their "culture" - NOT! Read these words, heed these words and SHUT UP, you mobster-breeding perverts!...
Here's their press release for the funeral:


Making Jesus proud!

The Westboro cultists have to protest her funeral because if they had tried to protest her when she was alive, she would have kicked their asses back to Topeka:



A counter protest is planned. See here for more information.

I guess "RIP" is out the window.

UPDATE: According to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, "police are on high alert for Tuesday's funeral mass."
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Retire Bush

The Nation is running a contest:
THE QUESTION:
WHAT WILL W. DO AFTER LEAVING OFFICE?

The details:
Send us your answer, disingenuous or otherwise, in 25 words (more or less). The winner will be chosen by a panel of fair-minded judges (Victor Navasky, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Richard Lingeman). First Prize is an original drawing, based on your entry, by famed New Yorker artist Edward Sorel.
The deadline for submissions is December 31 and the winner will be announced January 12.

Here's Sorel's:
After leaving office ex-President Bush reportedly will head the American Red Cross where he will push for "vast forward-looking measures" dedicated to "helping future disaster victims help themselves" such as swimming and lifesaving classes for residents of low-lying regions.
And mine:
After leaving office ex-President Bush reportedly will be given an endowed chair at Regent University where he'll be teaching a seminar in "Good Government." The course is expected to focus on the limits of executive power, secrecy, and overal proper respect for the Bill of Rights.
Yours?

November 24, 2008

ACTION ALERT: Contact Allegheny County Council TODAY!

From Steel City Stonewall Democrats:
Allegheny County Council is considering an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination in Employment, Housing and Public Accommodations based on characteristics including sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

The Council has, so far, been very interested in moving this non-discrimination ordinance forward. Twelve (out of 15) Council members have signed on as co-sponsors! One of Council’s next steps is to approve funding for the ordinance. Specifically, the County will have to hire folks to educate the public, to investigate complaints, and to prosecute violations of the ordinance. The Council’s Government Committee will be discussing the ordinance this Tuesday.

Below is a list of the co-sponsors for the legislation. Please contact your County Councilperson to thank him or her for supporting this ordinance. Encourage your Councilperson to continue moving the legislation forward.

You can look up your district at the following link:
http://www.alleghenycounty.us/council/dist.aspx

Sponsors:
Matt Drozd, Dist. 1
412.350.6525

Jim Burn, Dist. 3
412.350.6535

Michael Finnerty, Dist. 4
412.350.6540

Joan Cleary, Dist. 6
412.350.6550

Nick Futules, Dist. 7
412.350.6555

Chuck Martoni, Dist. 8
412.350.6560

Bob Macey, Dist. 9
412.350.6565

William Russell Robinson, Dist. 10
412.350.6570

Rich Fitzgerald, Dist. 11
412.350.6575

Jim Ellenbogen, Dist. 12
412.350.6580

Amanda Green (lead sponsor), Dist. 13
412.350.6585

John DeFazio, Council At-Large
412.350.6516

In case you wish to encourage the non-sponsors to become co-sponsors, here is their contact information:

Chuck McCollough, Council At-Large
412.350.6520

Jan Rea, District 2
412.350.6530

Vince Gastgeb, District 5
412.350.6545

In case you would like to attend: the Government Committee of the Allegheny County Council will be meeting this Tuesday, November 25, at 5:00pm to discuss this legislation. The location is 436 Grant St., County Courthouse Rm. 119, Conference Rm. 1. At this type of Committee meeting there is not the opportunity for public comment, but the public is welcome to attend, and you would be supporting the legislation with your presence.
More at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents here.
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November 23, 2008

Submitted Without Comment

Lima, Nov. 23 (ANDINA).- Peru has successfully promoted its national drink "Pisco Sour" during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit, Peru’s Environment Minister Antonio Brack said Sunday.

He noted that the flagship drink of Peru was well acepted by international guests, including Japan's Prime Minister, Taro Aso.

"Pisco Sour has been the "star" of the APEC Summit, the drink was served in several meetings at the Government Palace and the APEC Summit venue,” he told CPN Radio.

"We have achieved to place our products including pisco on international markets, but also kiwicha, sweet potatoes and traditional Peruvian potatoes", said Brack.

U.S. President George W. Bush, who quit drinking at 40, was apparently drinking a Peruvian cocktail during a meeting on Saturday.

Pisco Sour is a cocktail containing Pisco (a Peruvian brandy), lemon juice, egg whites, simple syrup, and regional bitters.

Source

Jack Kelly Sunday

Jack Kelly should really vet his ideas more carefully.

Why? The topic of this week's column was already discussed ad nauseum by none other than our favorite example of wingnut reality-based clear thinking, Jim Quinn.

Jack has to do better than this. I mean, any time he spends parroting the irrational rants of Quinn and Rose, is time not only squandered but demolished outright.

Let's get to Jack's column. He's looking to do two things with it; he's looking to show that liberals are stupid and that the media is to blame for Senator McCain's embarrassing "electoral college landslide" (Jack's phrase, by the way). Jack gets to the heart of the matter with this:
A Zogby poll released last week casts doubt on the notion it's conservatives who reflect stupidity and ignorance. Mr. Zogby asked a dozen questions of 512 Obama supporters, 55 percent of whom have college degrees.
And it found that while "94 percent correctly identified Sarah Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter" and "87 percent identified Ms. Palin as the candidate who said she "could see Russia from her house" only "17 percent knew that it was Mr. Obama who won his first election by getting all of his opponents removed from the ballot" and "12 percent knew it was Mr. Obama who said his energy policies likely would bankrupt the coal industry."

Well that LOOKS damaging, doesn't it? It certainly LOOKS like the liberals are stupid and the media overfed us the McCain/Palin bad and while underfeeding us the Obama/Biden bad.

And yet...

The Zogby poll Jack so readily quotes is not all that it appears to be. From Jack:
The poll was commissioned by conservative documentary filmmaker John Ziegler ("The Path to 9/11"). Random post-election interviews he'd done with a dozen Obama supporters indicated a deplorable lack of knowledge, and he wanted to see how widespread it was.
Actually John Ziegler (as far as I can tell) had NOTHING to do with "The Path to 9/11" (he's not listed in the credits at the IMDB.com, for instance). He WAS involved with a documentary called "Blocking The Path to 9/11". By the way, if Jack can't get such a simple fact right, how can we trust anything else he has to write?

I'll ask it again: DOESN'T ANYONE OVER THERE AT THE P-G FACT-CHECK JACK KELLY?

Anyway, Ziegler produced "Blocking The Path to 9/11" along with conservative smear merchant David Bossie. Who's David Bossie?

David Bossie is the president of Citizens United (the folks who brought us the infamous "Willie Horton" ad). Bossie was also the guy Representative Dan Burton fired from his job as Chief Investigator on Burton's House Committee investigating Whitewater. Bossie's error? He edited tapes and transcripts of phone conversations between then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and Webster Hubbell. As David Corn wrote in 1998:
Just when Newt Gingrich was trying to increase the scandal pressure on Clinton, Burton and Bossie embarrassed themselves and the GOP by making public selective portions of the Hubbell tapes. Remarks that indicated Hillary Clinton did no wrong were left out of the initial release. In several instances the transcripts did not match the actual recordings, and these errors seemed almost willful, as if they were intended to unfairly implicate Hubbell and the Clintons.
Imagine that. At least we know anything off of Bossie's desk is completely trustworthy, right?

Back to the poll. Here's Zogby's initial press statement about it. Did you know that there's a bit of a controversy surrounding the poll? Not if you read Jack - who's whole column depends on it.

Let's check out some criticism of the poll. First from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com:
To my mind, this survey meets the definition of a "push poll", which the Random House Dictionary defines as "a seemingly unbiased telephone survey that is actually conducted by supporters of a particular candidate and disseminates negative information about an opponent." That (i) several of the items on the survey contain information which, in addition to being negative, is arguably also untrue; (ii) Ziegler brags that the survey includes a trick question to which no correct answer can be provided, and that (iii) apparently only Obama voters were targeted by the survey (although this is not 100 percent clear), also inform my opinion that the survey can fairly be described as a "push poll".
Did you know that "several of the items on the survey contain information which, in addition to being negative, is arguably also untrue"? Not if you read Jack's column.

Here's some more criticism from pollster.com:

The survey was paid for by John Ziegler, a former talk radio host and publisher of a conservative web site. The Zogby summary quotes Ziegler claiming that "the poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace."

The problem, as Silver points out, is that the survey does no such thing. It proves only that Obama voters surveyed were less likely to attribute to Obama or Biden a half dozen statements that were "at best debatable, yet apparently represented as factual to the respondent"...
And then:
Zogby's survey does not amount to a "push poll" in that sense, but using the term allows him to respond -- predictably -- with a denial that "this was not a push poll." It wasn't, but that's beside the point. Describing his biased, leading questions as a legitimate test of knowledge is hugely misleading, at best.
And now from the Wall Street Journal, turns out that Zogby's distancing itself from the Ziegler's survey:

John Zogby, the president and chief executive of Zogby International, released a statement on his Web site Tuesday that defended the poll in the face of heavy criticism from bloggers and some media organizations, saying, “We stand by the results [of] our survey work on behalf of [author and former talk show host] John Ziegler, as we stand by all of our work. … We were hired to test public opinion on a particular subject and with no ax to grind, that’s exactly what we did.”

But on Wednesday, Zogby told me he was on a book tour when the contract was reached and when the survey was conducted, and wouldn’t have approved the poll in the form it took, or a press release posted on his firm’s Web site. “This was not Zogby International’s finest hour,” he said. “Something, somehow, fell through the cracks.” He said he would review the incident with his staff on Friday to determine what went wrong. Nonetheless, Zogby stood by the results of the poll themselves. “There is valuable information in this poll,” he said.

Zogby wouldn't have approved the poll in the form it took - something else Jack didn't tell you.

Puss-pull or not, the poll was biased, contained leading questions and was "misleading at best."

At the very least, it doesn't show what Jack Kelly said it showed - and for that I'll use no less a conservative news source than the Washington Times:
Mr. Zeigler's basic premise is that the mainstream news media simply wanted Mr. Obama to win, and provided correspondingly positive coverage. The Zogby poll, meanwhile, essentially revealed that those voters remembered good stuff about the president-elect and bad stuff aboutSen. John McCain's campaign.
Something else Jack won't tell you.

November 21, 2008

A BLOG FEST TONIGHT!

Something familiar,
Something peculiar,

Something for everyone:

A BLOGFEST tonight!


Are you a blogger?

Something appealing,
Something appalling,

Something for everyone:

A BLOGFEST tonight!


And does this embarrass you? Or do you know a blogger? And wish that he/she wasn't?

Nothing with kings, nothing with crowns;
Bring on the lovers, liars and clowns!


Old situations,
New complications,

Nothing portentous or polite;

Tragedy tomorrow,

A BLOGFEST
tonight!


Well here's your chance to meet some other real-life honest-to-goodness Pittsburgh Bloggers! Stop by for a beer and meet some bloggers.

Something convulsive,
Something repulsive,

Something for everyone:

A BLOGFEST tonight!


I can hear you now. You're quietly muttering to yourself, wondering when Dayvoe's gonna get to the details. Well my friends, here they are:

Not only is it a Blogfest Friday and the last one for the year, but it's also Light Up Night in Pittsburgh! So come to the Blogfest and then go dahntahn and check out the lights!

WHAT: Pittsburgh Blogfest 16
WHEN: Friday, November 21st, 2008, 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM and beyond!
WHERE: Finnegan's Wake (near PNC Park, 20 General Robinson St., North Shore, 412-325-2601), in the Pub Room
WHO: All local bloggers/podcasters (and their friends... feel free to bring some even if they don't blog!)
AND: Ephemera Ephemerae , Inner Bitch, My Brilliant Mistakes, and Have a Good Sandwich.

As always, if you plan to attend, please send an e-mail to blogfest AT closkey.com.

Nothing that's formal,
Nothing that's normal,

No recitations to recite;

Open up the Pub Room:

A BLOGFEST Tonight!

(
With the profoundest of apologies to Stephen Sondheim, my friends Pseudolus, Hysterium and all the great gals working over at the House of Marcus Lycus)

Sarah Palin: What A Turkey!

Former vice presidential Republican nominee Gov. Sarah Palin did the traditional, cutesy pardoning of a turkey for Thanksgiving yesterday.

First, the turkey was pretty filthy and she declined to hold it and while she read the proclamation in the turkey pen it got a little noisy (and, honestly, a Pittsburgh City Council staffer could have written a less leaden proclamation). Then things took a turn for the truly bizarre.

After the pardoning ceremony, she was interviewed by KTUU channel 2 Anchorage -- fine and dandy -- except that the interview was conducted right in front of some guy slaughtering turkeys.

Eeeeew! You can watch the turkey fighting for it's life behind her.

At one point the interviewer asks her about budget items that might be "on the chopping block." (OK, that was pretty funny.)

At another point Palin looks back and laughs.

While watching it on MSNBC I kept thinking things like:
Doesn't she have advance people? ...A PR person? Couldn't a staff person have stopped the interview?? Someone needs to be fired over this!
But, according to MSNBC (as reported here by E&P):
...a Palin aide later explained that she had signed off on the backdrop. "No worries," Palin advised.
WTF?

Is there nothing that Palin can't screw up?

This is a woman without a single clue.

No clue.

C-L-U-E-L-E-S-S

MSNBC pixeled out the turkey's death kicks, but here's the uncensored video:


Next Up: Sarah Palin's heartwarming Christmas Eve interview -- where she hunts down, kills and field-dresses Rudolph.


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November 20, 2008

Inquiring Minds want To Know

Tim, Bram, so did he "throw" it or "slide" it?
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Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

1) Notice who isn't shaking any hands and who isn't offered any hands to shake at the G20 Summit.

"CNN's Rick Sanchez aptly says that Bush looks like "the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked."



2) From the Washington Post:
He has returned to where he did not wish to return. Back to walking the spotted white marble corridors of the Russell Senate Office Building. Back to Room 241, which says "Senator John McCain -- Arizona" on the door, and where a trickle of people stroll in on this morning in hopes of getting his pre-autographed photo and to inquire about obtaining tickets for Barack Obama's inauguration. Others stare. He has perfected his own middle-distance stare and the curt nod of someone coping. [Emphasis added]

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November 19, 2008

Crazie: Obama as Anti-Christ

But this "story" isn't from the wingnut right, it's from NEWSWEEK, for God's sake!

The author, Lisa Miller, is careful enough with her prose so that it doesn't exactly look like she's wondering whether President-elect Obama is the Anti-Christ - it's only those Millennialist Christians who do.

There's little doubt as to what she believes, however, when she writes:
Ever since Jesus Christ was crucified and, according to the Gospels, rose again in glory, his followers have been anticipating the end of history—the time when their Lord will return to earth and reign for a thousand years.
And:
Before Christ comes again, those who are saved will ascend to heaven, according to this end-times theology, in a huge, upward whoosh called the Rapture.
I don't normally pounce on the religiously minded as most of the faithful I know are rational and caring people, but this is not just crazy, but Alan Keyes crazy.

Some other reactions.

Media Matters:
In a Newsweek article headlined "Is Obama the Antichrist?" senior editor Lisa Miller treated as newsworthy purported debate among some "conservative Christians" over whether President-elect Barack Obama is "the Antichrist." In doing so, she gave credibility to the views of RaptureReady.com editor and founder Todd Strandberg, who has, among other things, smeared gays and lesbians, Islam, progressives, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
American Prospect:
Newsweek is giving some real space to the cranks this time around, with Lisa Miller seriously considering the evidence that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. Miller notes that Raptureready website founder Todd Strindberg has been getting a lot of emails lately, including one that notes that "one of the winning lottery numbers in the president-elect's home state was 666."
And:
These people have been using the same kind of "evidence" to predict an imminent rapture for centuries, and always to great disappointment, something Miller forgets to mention. How exactly will gay people having the right to marry and women having the right to choose "threaten the freedom" of religious conservatives? And how exactly do these positions -- which are shared by millions, not to mention the other likely Democratic candidates, provide a compelling case that Obama is the anti-Christ?
I wouldn't normally apply such a gross generalization ever, but in this case for the crazies who believe Obama's the anti-Christ (and those irresponsible in the media who push the story) Abu'l-Ala al Maarri may in deed have been right:
The world is divided into two sects, Those with religion but no brains. And those with brains but no religion.
Crazie: Obama as anti-Christ

Reuters: Cheney and Gonzales Indicted


From Reuters:
HOUSTON (Reuters) - A grand jury in South Texas indicted U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and former attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday for "organized criminal activity" related to alleged abuse of inmates in private prisons.

The indictment has not been seen by a judge, who could dismiss it.

The grand jury in Willacy County, in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border, said Cheney is "profiteering from depriving human beings of their liberty," according to a copy of the indictment obtained by Reuters.

The indictment cites a "money trail" of Cheney's ownership in prison-related enterprises including the Vanguard Group, which owns an interest in private prisons in south Texas.

Former attorney general Gonzales used his position to "stop the investigations as to the wrong doings" into assaults in county prisons, the indictment said.

Could not have happened to two nicer guys!
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"The Tyranny of Oil" Lecture & Book Signing TONIGHT

. . ANTONIA JUHASZ - Lecture & Book Signing

TONIGHT!

The Tyranny of Oil
Wednesday, November 19, 8pm - free admission
McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University Center


Co-sponsored by Carnegie Mellon Activities Board, Demilitarize Pittsburgh, Codepink Pittsburgh, WILPF Pittsburgh and others

The hardest-hitting exposé of the oil industry in decades answers today's most pressing energy questions: Why are oil and gasoline prices rising so quickly? Where will prices go in the future? Who's really controlling those prices? How much oil is left? How far will Big Oil go to get it? And at what cost to the economy, environment, human rights, worker safety, public health, democracy, and America's place in the world?

Juhasz investigates the true state of the U.S. oil industry, uncovering its virtually unparalleled global power, its influence over our elected officials, its lack of regulatory oversight, the truth behind $150-a-barrel oil, $4.50-a-gallon gasoline, and the highest profits in corporate history. Exposing an industry that thrives on secrecy, Juhasz shows how Big Oil manages to hide its business dealings from policy makers, legislators, and most of all, consumers. She reveals exactly how Big Oil gets what it wants--through money, influence, and lies.

A "timely, blistering critique... white-hot... Explosive fuel for the raging debate on oil prices." - Kirkus Reviews

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November 18, 2008

58

Ted Stevens has lost his re-election bid.

From the AP:

The longest-serving Republican in the history of the Senate trailed Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by 3,724 votes after Tuesday's count.

That's an insurmountable lead with only about 2,500 overseas ballots left to be counted.

Stevens, who turned 85 Tuesday, also revealed that he will not ask President George W. Bush to give him a pardon for his seven felony convictions.

Stevens is toast.

Around the Burgosphere

  • PittGirl says goodbye to blogging making it safe once more to look for love (and other stuff)on craigslist.

  • Sue has been selected to participate in the LGBT Blogger and Citizens Journalist Initiative in DC (CONGRATS!).

  • Bram gives much thought to Pittsburgh's Ethics Board.

  • Progress Pittsburgh reminds us that the p2 pac is hosting a Happy Hour TONIGHT at Max’s Allegheny Tavern, 537 Suismon Street, Pittsburgh

    and

    They inform us that for a mere $500 you can attend a fundraiser with Bill Clinton for Lil Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (I guess all those snubs of Obama were worth it for Lukey).

  • Gab tells us how those bloggers still left in the Burgh can get into a free showing of the Players Production Company's Pittsburgh premiere of David Lindsey-Abaire’s Wonder of the World.

    Finally:

  • Normally I'd think that it would take some chutzpah for a Spork to make fun of a cookie cutter, but not in this case.
  • .

    Don't Come Around Here No More


    Since we've been neglecting the local stuff*, here's something that Digby wrote about Pittsburgh native Dennis Miller:
    Nevertheless, as God is my witness, if Dennis Miller tries to come back in the fold I will make it my life's work to destroy him. I'll show up at this concerts with pictures of dead Iraqi children. I'll organize boycotts of every comedy club he tries to appear in. I'll make it my business to ensure that nobody ever forgets what a fucking jackass he has been for the past eight years.

    He was on O'Reilly earlier this week, revealing his puerile sexual imagination once again, but also giving a tiny hint that he might just be tacking back to the left in light of the fact that his affiliation with the right is no longer fashionable -- even among them...

    Agreed!

    My little Dennis Miller story

    Back in the 80's I had a part-time gig in NBC's Election Division doing polling. We were on the same floor as the Saturday Night Live writers (used to bump into Al Franken in the elevator). One evening I was waiting for the elevator to leave work with several of my coworkers. The elevator door opens and there's Dennis Miller with two of the female cast members on each arm. He struts out and he stops and poses -- he even shook his hair back like some model with a long mane -- waiting for some acknowledgment from us.

    He got nothing.

    Maybe an eye roll (certainly from me). He finally left so we could get on the elevator. I guess he was waiting to be asked to sign an autograph or something. What a conceited jerk.


    *Yeah, yeah, I'm pushing it. Got to get back to paying attention to Lil Mayor Luke, or Council, or the non Ethics Board...
    .

    Bye, bye, E.D.!

    From Huffington:
    TV Newser has learned that Fox News anchor E.D. Hill is leaving the channel after her contract was not renewed...

    [snip]

    Hill gained notoriety several months ago when she referred to the "pound," "fist bump," or whatever you want to call the handshake that Barack Obama exchanged with his wife Michelle as a "terrorist fist jab."
    Pittsburghers may remember that Hill was at WPXI as Edye Tarbox from 1987 to 1989. You think she can get her old job back?

    Don't let the door bump you on the way out, E.D.!






    .

    November 17, 2008

    Unacceptable

    We all know the story of Joe Lieberman (I-CT). He'd been a democrat for a long time but then in the 2006 election cycle he lost the democratic nomination to an anti-war candidate named Ned Lamont. Instead of doing the noble thing and dropping out, he ran as an independent.

    He won the election and promised to caucus with the democrats in the Senate.

    But then his friend John McCain ran for president and he went campaigning for the republican and against the winner, Barack Obama.

    During the past couple of years the Senate leadership couldn't punish ole Joe. They only had a one vote margin for a majority. If they pushed him, he'd walk and the democrats would lose their majority.

    But now the dems in the senate have way more than that (56 without ole Joe). So how will they punish him?

    Looks like a slap on the wrist. The dems will be proposing a compromise: Joe will keep his Homeland Security committee and be relieved of a lesser sub-committee.

    I'm with kos on this one. This is unacceptable:
    Um, what idiot would think that taking away a subcommittee from Lieberman would be seen as a "stinging rebuke"? In whose DC-Beltway-addled mind is that even remotely punishment?

    Let Lieberman keep that subcommittee. No one gives a shit about it. The only thing that matters, the only thing that Lieberman wants, and the only thing we don't want him to have -- is the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

    If this is the "starting point", and given the Senate Democrats' history of capitulations, expect Lieberman to come out of that meeting as majority leader.

    Yea, I'm with kos here.

    Hey YOU GUYS WON! Why don't you start acting like it and show Joe Lieberman the door.

    The GOP in Washington: No Longer Relevant

    Hey, that's not me talking, that's Representative Eric Cantor, Republican from Virginia in today's Washington Times:
    Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, poised to ascend to House Republicans' No. 2 leader this week, said the Republican Party in Washington is no longer "relevant" to voters and must stop simply espousing principles. Instead, it must craft real solutions to health care and the economy.

    "Where we have really fallen down is, we have lacked the ability to be relevant to people's lives. Let's set aside the last eight years, and our falling down in living up to expectations of what we said we were going to do," Mr. Cantor told The Washington Times in his district office outside of Richmond. "It's the relevancy question."

    As chief deputy whip, Mr. Cantor, 45, was the logical choice to move up when Republicans' current whip, Rep. Roy Blunt, stepped aside - something Mr. Blunt announced days after Republicans lost at least 20 seats in the House.
    Those "last eight years" he mentions are, of course, the disastrous Bush Administration.

    When the chief deputy whip (and possible next House whip) says your party in DC is irrelevant, your party in DC is irrelevant.

    Obama: No Gitmo, No Torture, Will Start Drawing Down Troops in Iraq

    Obama on 60 Minutes last night:


    .

    November 16, 2008

    Jack Kelly Sunday

    Well it's about time. Almost exactly a month after his favored party and his favored candidate for President lost, and lost badly, in what he called an electoral "landslide," and six weeks after both her disastrous debate with Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden and her equally disastrous interview with Katie Couric, Jack Kelly finally speaks out about Sarah Palin.

    Guess what? In this week's column, he endorses her for President in 2012.

    No, I'm not kidding.

    In the course of the column, he blames her bad luck and her bad press on the media. He begins:
    The week before the election, the Obama campaign ran a television commercial attacking the Republican candidate for vice president. To my knowledge, this had never been done before.
    According to the Washington Post, this is the ad:



    But if you look at it, it's not completely about Governor Palin, is it? Strikes me it's more about McCain's bad judgment in choosing Palin than it is about Palin herself.

    But again, look at Jack's text. WHAT had never been done before, Jack? A campaign ad critical of Sarah Palin or a campaign ad critical of a Vice-Presidential candidate? Or a campaign ad critical of a Republican candidate for Vice-President? It's not clear. And as it's from an experienced columnist at a major American Newspaper, shouldn't it be?

    In either case, what difference does that make?

    Next up, he blames the big bad media for her bad press:
    Within days of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's selection by John McCain to be his running mate, there was speculation in the news media that maternal neglect was the cause of baby Trig's Down Syndrome; that Trig was really daughter Bristol's baby; that Sarah was a fundamentalist who believes dinosaurs and humans coexisted; that she once belonged to a secessionist party; that as mayor of Wasilla, she tried to have popular books banned from the town library.

    None of this was true, but this was how the news media introduced Ms. Palin to people in the lower 48. No vice presidential candidate has ever been subjected to such a torrent of abuse.
    It's difficult to argue against such statements. WHO IN THE MEDIA said that "maternal neglect was the cause of baby Trig's Down Syndrome"? Jack doesn't say. WHO IN THE MEDIA said that Trig was actually Bristol's baby? Again, Jack doesn't say. I know more than a few bloggers said it, but is Jack now lumping us all in with the Main Stream Media?

    Jack's more than capable of quoting someone verbatim. He even does it in this very column. But by leaving it vague, he's left it to the readers to fill in the blanks with some imaginary "reporting" of such. ("I didn't read anything like this, but Jack Kelly says so, so it must be true. I must've just missed it.")

    News to Jack: Sarah Palin is a fundamentalist. The church she attends was described in Newsweek this way:
    Except for the national spotlight, Wasilla Bible Church resembles thousands of conservative evangelical churches across the country. Its statement of faith says its members believe that the Bible is the "inspired, inerrant word of God."
    It's that last part: that the Bible is the "inerrant word of God" that makes her a fundamentalist. It was her husband who belonged to that seccessionist party - she just addressed its convention this year. Jack didn't tell you that, did he?

    And Jack's spinning things just a tad in discussing the book banning. Jack writes:
    ...that as mayor of Wasilla, she tried to have popular books banned from the town library.
    Not exactly true. While no books were ever banned, Palin did inquire (three times, as it turned out) whether the local librarian would be OK with "censuring books if asked to do so." When the librarian said "no" that librarian was duly fired for disloyalty. After what must've been a fierce public outcry the librarian was reinstated the next day.

    Something else Jack didn't tell you.

    And I gotta say that I found this paragraph unintentionally funny:
    A star athlete and beauty contest winner who hunts moose and worked as a commercial fisherman, Sarah Palin has a remarkable personal and political story. But it's a story the news media largely ignored in favor of spreading malicious gossip.
    I mean , given Jack's own history of spreading the gossip, it's high hilarity for Jack to suddenly see the light of journalistic fairness. For instance, did you know that William Ayers could easily have written Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father"? (Ayers's later autobiography and Obama's book share some nautical metaphors, so IT MUST BE TRUE.) Or that William Ayers and Barack Obama may have met at Columbia a full decade before either has admitted? (Obama was at Columbia in the early 80s and Ayers was at Columbia in the early 80s so IT MUST BE TRUE.) Both those bits of information came from the well-worn typewriter of Jack Kelly.

    Neither has a shred of evidence to support it (beyond the rantings of the far right fringe). Can someone say to my friend Jack that he's also "spreading malicious gossip"

    Please?

    Morning, Sunshine!


    2 Political Junkies is now a bank holding company.

    Now gimme some of that sweet, sweet bailout cash!

    Our executives need their bonuses and besides we plan on using some of those bucks to buyout all the other blogs "banks" in town. TOP OF THE WORLD, BITCHEZ!
    .

    November 15, 2008

    Scenes From Today's Pittsburgh Prop. 8 Protest in Oakland

    Report, photos and video by Joy Sabl:
    About 350 people at the start; about 450 by the time we returned to the starting point after walking through Oakland. Compared to other PGH area rallies, this was the best behaved (stopping for traffic lights) youngest and most upbeat, despite the downer of CA's prop 8 passing. And the only one that got so much bigger with people joining in as we went by.
    Big crowd!


    Great sign:


    More great signs:




    Sue at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents has more.
    .

    The Next President's Weekly Address

    Now found on youtube:

    Obama Mosaic


    Find the full-sized poster here.

    November 14, 2008

    The Latest Crazie: It's THE OBAMA RECESSION

    From Mediamatters:
    Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh continue to suggest that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline in the stock market, referring to the state of the stock market as an "Obama recession." In fact, analysts have refuted the proposition that the market decline has anything to do with anticipation of Obama's presidency.
    The analysis they site? Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Take a look.

    Or as Keith put it:
    Obama won't be President until two months from next Thursday. Republicans have been overspending and under regulating us into the toilet for eight years and the President-Elect has been warning about a recession for a year while the Republican candidate kept saying that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. And it's THE OBAMA RECESSION.
    The Crazie.

    Tonight

    Five bucks.
    10:30pm
    Cabaret Theater Dahntahn

    What's not to love?

    November 13, 2008

    Health Care Forum Tomorrow

    Sorry for the lateness of this:
    Health Care Now and In the Future: What's in it for you?

    When: Friday Nov. 14th, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Where: United Steel Workers Building, 60 Boulevard of the Allies
    RSVP: (412) 462-9962

    Health Care has been an important topic throughout the 2008 election and with the economy suffering and unemployment rising, its critical to many families. The Mon Valley Unemployed Committee presents its 2008 Health Care Forum answering questions important to consumers such as:
  • Health Care in the Obama Administration
  • Uninsured? Unemployed? What health care options exist for you and your family
  • Consumers and the Highmark/Blue Cross Merger
  • Gov. Rendell's Health Care plans for Pennsylvania
  • Featured lunch speaker Allen Kukovich, Director of the Governor's Southwestern office will discus the Governor's health care plans.

    Lunch is free, but an RSVP is requested.

    Other speakers include:

  • Fred Redmond, International Vice President of the United Steel Workers of America
  • Rich Weishaupt, Attorney with Community Legal Services
  • Susan Freer, Executive Director for Metro Family Practice
  • The event is free and open to the public. RSVP for lunch at (412) 462-9962.

    .

    Shakesville



    If you've read this blog for any length of time, you've probably noticed that I'm a big fan of Shakesville (Maude knows how many times I've linked there).

    I think we can also agree that this year's primary and general election have been extremely ugly at times and thoroughly EXHAUSTING. I know that I came close to giving up blogging over some of the comments here.

    Well if you, like me, love Shakesville -- and I know some of you do -- Melissa could use your support now (see here and here).

    Comments and letters of support are a nice way to show your appreciation, but cold, hard cash is even nicer.

    You can email Melissa at shakespeares_sister@comcast.net and you can donate to her blog via PayPal or Amazon.
    .

    PA Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll has died



    From the Post-Gazette:
    Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll, a much-beloved figure in Pennsylvania politics who helped forge a path for women and whose head-on bluntness made her one of the most colorful figures in Allegheny County and Harrisburg, died yesterday after battling cancer for several months.

    She was 78.

    The daughter of a McKees Rocks baker, Mrs. Knoll entered politics through Allegheny County's old Democratic machine, but then had to fight her way onto tickets, overcoming party leaders' questions about her intellect and concerns about whether a woman could win a statewide election.

    A 40-year veteran of county political wars, Mrs. Knoll served two terms as state treasurer and made a strong third-place finish among seven candidates in the 1994 Democratic primary for governor. Eight years later she went on to win her highest post, lieutenant governor in the administration of Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell. She was the first woman to be elected to the office.

    [snip]

    Mrs. Knoll will be succeeded as lieutenant governor by the current president pro tempore of the state Senate, Republican Joseph B. Scarnati III of Jefferson County.

    The P-G article also mentions her frequent malaprops including referring to Gov. Edward G. Rendell as "Edward G. Robinson."

    She was much loved in Western PA and while I was no real fan, I very much admire the fact that she was able to go as far as she did in a state that has a dearth of female politicians in top spots, especially coming from this region of the state.

    RIP Catherine Baker Knoll
    .

    Chris Potter On "Voter Fraud"

    Found this today at the City Paper.

    Chris Potter takes on "voter fraud" both real and imagined. The setup:

    After all the talk on FOX News about voter fraud ... the pre-emptive lawsuits Republicans filed against state elections officials ... John McCain warning that the community group ACORN was "destroying the fabric of democracy" ...

    After all that, the only election-fraud allegation to make waves was leveled against -- Rick Santorum.

    That was the story we posted here, by the way. Potter continues:

    Before the elections, the gasbags on FOX and talk radio howled about voter fraud. Paid signature-gatherers were forging names on voter-registration forms, we were told -- and on Election Day, these phantom Mickey Mouses and I.P. Freelys would materialize at the polls. Democracy would lie in ruin. The complaints were picked up by bloggers; e-mails bombarded newspaper editors every hour.

    It was creepy how people who'd never heard of ACORN were so willing to denounce it. Even creepier, though, was how quickly they stopped. Just days ago, McCain was worried about the fabric of democracy. Now his aides mutter about how much Sarah Palin spent on designer clothes. Never mind the mainstream press -- I'm hard-pressed to find a single allegation of fraud even on conservative Web sites.

    So where was all that voter fraud? You'd think that if there was ANY Fox "News" would've said something by now.

    And what's at Fox "News" now? John Lott is trying to replay the whole story with talk of possible future voter fraud in the Minnesota recount.

    Take a look. He even adds the old standby:
    With ACORN filing more than 43,000 registration forms this year, 75 percent of all new registrations in the state, Minnesota was facing vote fraud problems even before the election. Even a small percentage of those registrations resulting in fraudulent votes could tip this election.
    Yet no reports of any voter fraud from Minnesota during the election. Same old song.

    To quote Potter:
    Conservatives love to boast about their love of country, their unshakable belief that we have the world's most powerful democracy. But at the drop of the hat, they were willing to pretend the whole thing could be ruined by a handful of $8-an-hour temps. Suddenly, ACORN was the greatest threat to democracy since ... since ... Saddam Hussein's WMD.
    Another lie from the GOP.

    November 12, 2008

    Red/Blue State O' Mind


    Red met Blue this weekend at the home of one of my siblings where various family members gathered to celebrate multiple birthdays.

    The red was the M-15 one sibling received as a gift and the blue was the Georgetown Cupcake ("DC's destination for designer cupcakes") cupcakes* we were munching on as we watched the aforementioned sibling aim at a really big bug** on the wall (the lite on the rifle lit up the bug rill purty like).

    Can you say cognitive dissonance?


    * See Pittsblog
    **
    No bug was actually harmed in the making of this post...or on Saturday.
    .

    The Crazies Again (This Time It's The "Fairness Doctrine")

    I've been waiting for someone to say this:
    Am I the only one who’s confused by all this conservative organizing against the re-imposition of the “fairness doctrine” on talk radio? I understand why they oppose that move, but why are they putting so much energy into blocking something that nobody is trying to do. A Fairness Act bill was submitted in the House in 2005, but it only 16 cosponsors. No such bill was submitted in the last conference. Barack Obama opposes reintroducing the Fairness Act. And speaking as a paid-up member of the vast left-wing conspiracy, nobody on our side is getting any marching orders about this
    There's more at Washington Monthly:
    So why the wild-eyed panic? The American Spectator, a right-wing magazine, claims to who have spoken to "two members of the House Democrat [sic] Caucus" who warned the hard-right publication that Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer plan to "aggressively pursue" reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine over the next six months.
    And that leads back to Mother Jones:
    So the Spectator, not exactly known for its deep sources with the Democratic Party, reports that "two members" of the House Democratic caucus claim that Pelosi and Hoyer are going to aggressively pursue reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine. Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, this was reported in May of 2007, and unless I missed some big news, Pelosi and Hoyer failed to make their big push.

    So why are conservatives in such a tizzy about this? It's a mystery. There do appear to be a few members of Congress who think it's a shame we got rid of the Fairness Doctrine, but as near as I can tell, "few" equals four or five in the Senate and maybe a dozen in the House. There are probably more Republicans who believe in a return to the gold standard than there are Democrats who seriously want to reimpose the Fairness Doctrine.

    And remember, President Elect Obama opposes reintroducing the act. Who supports it? I want names.

    I can see the silent unmarked black New World Order helicopters from my house!

    UPDATE ONE: I missed Brian O'Neill's great piece about the collective Republican delusions regarding the Fairness Doctrine. Take a look:

    The Fairness Doctrine is not going to be reinstated, nor should it. Never mind that a restraint on free speech would be a betrayal of core liberal principles. It won't happen because President-elect Barack Obama has no interest in it, few Democrats in Congress care about it, and they all can read a map.

    If last week's presidential map showed anything, it was that a medium where America's conservative white guys talk mostly to each other is just the kind of insular world that can help a party lose by 7 million votes.

    UPDATE TWO: I contacted Congressman Mike Doyle and asked if there was any plan to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine his answer:
    David, I know of no plans to try to reinstate the fairness doctrine.

    Another Reason To Look Forward To January 20

    From ABC News:

    When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, Americans won't just get a new president; they might finally learn the full extent of George W. Bush's warrantless domestic wiretapping.

    Since The New York Times first revealed in 2005 that the NSA was eavesdropping on citizens' overseas phone calls and e-mail, few additional details about the massive "Terrorist Surveillance Program" have emerged. That's because the Bush administration has stonewalled, misled and denied documents to Congress, and subpoenaed the phone records of the investigative reporters.

    Now privacy advocates are hopeful that President Obama will be more forthcoming with information. But for the quickest and most honest account of Bush's illegal policies, they say don't look to the incoming president. Watch instead for the hidden army of would-be whistle-blowers who've been waiting for Inauguration Day to open the spigot on the truth.

    For instance:
    New Yorker investigative reporter Seymour Hersh already has a slew of sources waiting to spill the Bush administration's darkest secrets, he said in an interview last month. "You cannot believe how many people have told me to call them on January 20. [They say,] 'You wanna know about abuses and violations? Call me then.'"
    Can't wait.

    November 11, 2008

    Something To Think About

    Atrios speaks:
    There is a weird underplaying of the degree of Democratic victory this time. Sure, they didn't win quite as many seats as some pollsters and pundits predicted, but even at the height of the Great And Glorious Republican Revolution, back when Democrats were doomed to irrelevancy for generations, they maxed out at just 232 House seats. Dems have about 256 at the moment, with a couple of races not yet decided.
    Because 256 is more than 232.

    Veterans Day

    In Flanders Fields


    While Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day, it has been expanded to commemorate the courage and sacrifice of all veterans.

    On this day when we honor veterans for their service to our country, I can think of nothing more fitting than to link to this Daily Kos diary which lists many worthy groups which assist veterans. Please check it out.

    And, a personal thanks to Marty and Ken and all the other veterans I know.
    .

    NOV 15th: Pittsburgh Prop. 8 Protest 

    Protests against the shameful passing of Proposition 8 have sprung up all over California and now there's a grassroots effort to have a national day of protest.

    People from all over the nation will gather to protest at their City Halls on Saturday, November 15th.

    Pittsburgh's location is:

    City-County Building
    414 Grant Street, #911
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219


    Schenley Plaza (pending permit for rally)
    The Plaza is in the Pittsburgh borough of Oakland,
    about 4 miles east of downtown Pittsburgh.
    It is situated between the Carnegie Museums
    and Library and the University of Pittsburgh
    Hillman Library. The address is 4100 Forbes Avenue.

    Saturday, November 15, 1:30 PM

    The website organizing the protest is http://jointheimpact.com and the direct link to protest locations is here.

    .... BE THERE! ....

    .

    The Crazies Continue To Emerge

    From the AP:
    A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

    "It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may - may not, I hope not - but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."
    Naw, that doesn't sound crazy at all. Until you go find the speech President-Elect Obama actually gave. The AP points out that Braun cited a speech by Obama from July. You can watch it here. In the speech (the prepared text is here) Obama described, among other things, the benefits of public service. He said:
    That is why I'm determined to reach out - not just to Democrats, but to Independents and Republicans who want to move in a new direction. And that is why I won't just ask for your vote as a candidate - I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am President of the United States.

    This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program - this will be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges.

    There is no challenge greater than the defense of our nation and our values. The men and women of our military - from Fort Carson to Peterson Air Force base, from the Air Force Academy to the ROTC students here on campus - have signed up at a time when our troops face an ever-increasing load. Fighting a resurgent Taliban. Targeting al Qaeda. Persevering in the deserts and cities of Iraq. Training foreign militaries. Delivering humanitarian relief. In this young century, our military has answered when called, even as that call has come too often. Through their commitment, their capability, and their courage they have done us all proud.

    But we need to ease the burden on our troops, while meeting the challenges of the 21st century. That's why I will call on a new generation of Americans to join our military, and complete the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines.

    Now watch closely and remember the first sentence of that last paragraph. There's a burden on our troops, he said. We have to ease that burden, he said. Into the prepared text right after proposing an expansion of our diplomatic corp, Obama added this (the text can be found here):
    We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
    THAT is what the wingnuts are spinning into a new "Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship." THAT's what Congressman Paul Braun turned into:
    "That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."
    So in a speech where Obama looks to increase AmeriCorps and public service overall, increase the nation's support of our veterans, increase the foreign service and double the size of the Peace Corps it's not at all crazy to see how he's proposing a new Gestapo-like security force.

    Nope, not crazy at all.

    How long till the crazies start talking about The New World Order and The Unmarked Silent Helicopters and the UN Troops Stationed In The Secret Bases Across The Country threatening our precious national sovereignty?

    November 10, 2008

    Keith Olbermann on California's Prop 8


    The poetry is from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:
    So I be written in the Book of Love,
    I have no care about that book above;
    Erase my name, or write it, as you please--
    So I be written in the Book of Love.
    Here's the text.

    And Keith asks:
    If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.
    I just got married and I'm very happy. Why do I get that opportunity when so many others can't?

    It's only fair that they should.

    Obama To Quickly Reverse Bush Executive Orders

    From the Washington Post:

    Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.

    [snip]

    "The kind of regulations they are looking at" are those imposed by Bush for "overtly political" reasons, in pursuit of what Democrats say was a partisan Republican agenda, said Dan Mendelson, a former associate administrator for health in the Clinton administration's Office of Management and Budget. The list of executive orders targeted by Obama's team could well get longer in the coming days, as Bush's appointees rush to enact a number of last-minute policies in an effort to extend his legacy.
    I'm just thrilled that we'll have an administration that doesn't base polices on the world being 6,000 years old...



    ...or one that doesn't see science as an enemy...


    ...or one who doesn't believe in gagging doctors globally...


    ...or one that doesn't believe that America tortures...



    ...or one who doesn't believe that American citizens are all potential terrorists to spy on at will.





    .

    November 9, 2008

    Jack Kelly Sunday

    There's not much for me to disagree with in this week's column. Jack Kelly even calls the results a "landslide in the Electoral College" and as we all know, when Jack says something, it's gotta be true.

    Right?

    So Electoral College landslide it is. Thanks, Jack!

    At one point, Jack writes:
    I give the McCain campaign a C- at best. It often seemed a pudding without a theme. On the paramount issue, Mr. McCain didn't have a message that resonated until Joe the Plumber found one for him. And the way the McCain campaign mishandled its prize asset -- Gov. Sarah Palin -- was appalling.
    All this may be true, but Governor Palin's own performance was no less appalling. National Review columnist Kathleen Parker way back in late September called for Palin to withdraw from the ticket. Parker wrote:
    Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
    Then Jack writes this:
    There apparently was more fraud in this election than in any other in the recent past. But because Mr. Obama's margins in key states were large, the votes of the ineligible and the dead didn't affect the outcome. Republicans weren't robbed. They were beaten, fair and square.
    Of course Jack doesn't say where there was "apparently was more fraud in this election than in any other in the recent past" so we're left to fill in the blanks.

    Ohio? Smooth.
    Pennsylvania? Also smooth.
    Florida? "Almost eerily quiet."

    So where was this "more" fraud? Any reports of widespread voter fraud in any of the non-partisan organizations set up to watch for it? I couldn't find any.

    But I wholeheartedly agree that the GOP was beaten (in Jack's own words) "fair and square." But then Jack immediately contradicts himself with the next paragraph:
    Because Republicans cannot reasonably blame defeat on tactical mistakes by the McCain campaign...
    Didn't he just give the McCain campaign a C- on its "pudding without a theme" (whatever that means)? So it's now unreasonable to blame the (Electoral College landslide) defeat on the campaign's mistakes? I don't get it.

    Jack follows a few paragraphs later with that desperate last-ditch meme of the rightwing noise machine. Here's how Jack puts it:
    Despite Mr. Obama's victory, I think America remains a center-right country. But the right cannot prevail if it alienates the center.
    Uh, no. Tell me how, when more than 52% of the electorate votes for the guy the GOP branded as "a socialist" we live in a "center-right" nation. Mediamatters.org reports that Democracy Corp released poll numbers showing strong support for the policies outlined by now-President-Elect Obama. How then can we be in a "center-right" country? Michael Grunwald of Time, writing the night of the election, puts it this way:
    The pundits are already warning that Obama could overreach, that Democratic congressional leaders are still unpopular, that this is still a center-right country. But it wasn't tonight. Obama will have the luxury of taking office at a time when the GOP is the AIG of electoral politics, when his predecessor has set the lowest bar since James Buchanan, when a supposedly conservative Administration just started nationalizing the banking system, when the public is desperate for change. What is it about tonight's results that suggests Obama should be afraid of progressive action on the cusp of a depression?
    And reminds us of the national nightmare we're leaving:
    Remember what eight years of Republican rule has wrought: missing weapons of mass destruction, the promises we'd be greeted as liberators, Jessica Lynch, torture, the disintegration of Afghanistan. Also: Enron, WorldCom, Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie and Freddie, GM, Chrysler, Social Security privatization, the $700 billion bailout. Also: Brownie, John Ashcroft covering up that bare-breasted statue at the Justice Department, Alberto Gonzales politicizing the Justice Department, Harriet Miers, the oil lobbyist who edited those global warming reports. Also: Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Tom DeLay, Ted Stevens. Also: the Vice President shot a guy, and the President almost choked to death on a pretzel.
    The election was a mandate for change, an electoral college landslide and a clear repudiation of both conservative policies in general and the last eight disastrous years specifically.

    November 8, 2008

    Something To Think About

    From Sandy (via Crooksandliars):

    How BIG was Obama's victory? As it now stands, with North Carolina upping his total to 364, he could've spotted McCain New York and California and still won with 8 to spare. Let that sink in for a minute; a suntanned big city liberal Democrat named Barack Hussein Obama has won the presidency and did not need the New York and California electoral votes to do it.

    Can you say wow?
    Wow.