Democrats & Liberals Archives

May 2005 Archives

May 31, 2005

This Means War!

Vice President Dick Cheney was on Larry King Monday, making the case that Kim Jong Il must go. I've seen a jump in the number of anti-Kim editorials from right-wing think tanks in the papers lately, too. On top of that, the administration is pulling US citizens out of North Korea and deploying F-117 stealth fighter/bomber squadrons to the South. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

» Continue reading "This Means War!"

May 30, 2005

Non!

France has voted against the new European Constitution? Why? What does this mean?

Although some analyzed the run up to the vote in terms of a reaction to America, the general interpretation I'm getting here in Europe (I moved from St. Louis, Missouri to Hamburg, Germany a few weeks ago) is that the motivation for the vote wasn't America; it was about France and Europe.

» Continue reading "Non!"

Posted by LawnBoy at 5:48 PM

May 27, 2005

Democrats: Defenders Of Liberty

The GAO just released a report exposing the irresponsible job Republicans have done securing our sea ports and harbors from deadly attacks by shadowy terrorist networks with weapons of mass destruction. Thank God Democrats still remember 9/11 and are working to defend this great nation despite the distractions and obstructions of the ruling Republican Party.

» Continue reading "Democrats: Defenders Of Liberty"

May 26, 2005

The Politics of A Small World

I just got done reading a book by Mark Buchanan called Nexus : Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks , and it raised some interesting questions for me about how politics operates nowadays. If you don't recognize the short hand, let me explain.

» Continue reading "The Politics of A Small World"

May 25, 2005

A Blow to the Theocrats

After the Big Compromise that prevented the "nuclear option," the blogosphere is awash with posts proclaiming winners and losers. Some think Democrats won. Others think Republicans won. Some say Senator Reid won. Others say Senator Frist won. Still others claim that the 14 compromisers took over the Senate. Few of the blogs discuss the matter from a broader perspective. From the big-picture point of view, the compromise was a blow to the Dobson theocrats. And that's an unadultrated good!

» Continue reading "A Blow to the Theocrats"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:49 PM

May 24, 2005

Another Victory For Democrats...

...Or as close to it as you're going to get when you create consensus on a controversial issue. Democrats got a Republican promise not to eliminate the filibuster for this two-year Congress, while promising to use it only "under extraordinary circumstances." Senator Frist had earlier rejected a similar deal offered by Senator Harry Reid.

» Continue reading "Another Victory For Democrats..."

May 23, 2005

We Don't Like the Rules: Break Them

The Big Confrontation has begun in the Senate. It's not about the judges nominated - Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. It's not about activist or non-activist judicial philosophy. It's not about political partisanship. It's not about any principle, such as conservatism or liberalism. It's not even about the virtues and flaws of the filibuster. The Confrontation is strictly about power. Republicans deem the filibuster rule to be in the way of their packing the Supreme Court, so they plan to break it. Despite the fact that Senate rules do not allow the "nuclear option"!

» Continue reading "We Don't Like the Rules: Break Them"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 2:30 PM

May 22, 2005

It's Not Just Blues vs Bush

Prisoner abuse is a top story again. If you've been hiding from the newswires - and who could blame you? - the issues recently are an unsubstantiated (and later retracted) Newsweek report of desecration of the Koran, anti-American riots, and a NYT story of how an apparently innocent man was tortured to death in Afghanistan. Whoever you are, it's hard to be apathetic about this.

» Continue reading "It's Not Just Blues vs Bush"

Posted by William Cohen at 12:15 PM

May 21, 2005

Framing the Democratic Message

George Lakoff wrote a book called "Moral Politics," that states the Democrats are losing elections because they are not framing their values as well as the Republicans have been doing. To win, Democrats need to present their ideas within a framework of their own, he says. He suggests that Democrats should adopt the view of the nurturant parent, as opposed to the Republican view of the strict father. I agree we need a good framework, but the nurturant parent is not it.

» Continue reading "Framing the Democratic Message"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 2:45 PM

Train Wreck Of Opportunity

Since I expect the Republican-controlled Congress to come up with an energy bill that heavily subsidizes the oil and nuclear industries, I just added BP and Exelon to my stock portfolio.

» Continue reading "Train Wreck Of Opportunity"

Where Do We Stand On This?

It is a rare occasion when you hear anybody whose Democrat or Republican saying we've got to pull out of Iraq. It's rare to hear from either side that the Fight against Terrorism is not worth winning. It's ever rarer to hear people from either party badmouthing the troops.

So, essentially, few are for ending the war before we've won, few are for not defeating the terrorists, and few are criticizing the troops out there in harm's way. What are the arguments about this war really about?

» Continue reading "Where Do We Stand On This?"

May 18, 2005

What Have I Missed?

Nearly a month ago, I started Tumblers in The Lock of Time. Besides having a title that sounds like it belongs on a sci-fi film of some kind (perhaps one of these days), it was a labor of love/hate that kept me out of the loop for some time.

Anytime I felt like writing a new entry to address the latest outrages, a little voice in the back of my head said "Look, buddy, you started this, now you got to take it all the way." Fortunately now, I've killed the source of that voice, and buried it under a ton of prose. Now I can turn my sinister attentions elsewhere!

» Continue reading "What Have I Missed?"

Ante Up

There's a really interesting article in my local paper, originally in the LA Times called, "Pakistan's Chips in a Shady Game". This guy points out that every time Pakistan could gain from producing an al Qaeda operative, it's done so.

» Continue reading "Ante Up"

May 16, 2005

Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Seven

Politics
The end has come. The point is here!

After six entries, people must be wondering when they will see a normal article from me. Have no fear, this will be the last!

In the end, they were all about the way politics collides with the complexities of the real world, and the foolishness of ignoring the consequences of that.

» Continue reading "Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Seven"

May 15, 2005

The Accidental American Hero

My only clue as to why I don't watch ABC's Nightline more often is that it shares a time slot with Daily Show reruns. But, I was very glad to stumble upon Ted Koppel's interview with one of the scapegoats of Abu Ghraib, the now demoted, former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski. (Crooks & Liars has the video clips.)

» Continue reading "The Accidental American Hero"

May 13, 2005

Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Six

Culture
The Culture Wars. Sounds so grand. The notion shapes and has shaped the attitudes of many, especially people on this site. The notion that the left is eroding away society, and must be stopped before it destroys it. It's a notion that confuses us liberals, as we don't picture ourselves as evil. We explain that, and the conservatives go, oh, well, you just don't know it. Great. Now we're being patronized. Has anybody considered that the culture war is just a fruitless waste of time, that would better be spent talking to the other side of the aisle as if they were adults?

» Continue reading "Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Six"

May 12, 2005

Team Red, you've come a long way, baby!

Here's an interesting quote - coming via David Sirota and Daily Kos:

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

The author is Dwight Eisenhower, and the date is Nov 8, 1954.

» Continue reading "Team Red, you've come a long way, baby!"

Posted by William Cohen at 9:04 AM

Kingdom Of Heaven

I saw Kingdom of Heaven last weekend. Ridley Scott gave us a movie with great action and a lot to think about. Scott's Jerusalem is described as a place where people are judged by their abilities, not by what they are. It's a kingdom at peace, governed by compassionate Christian men with the wisdom to keep religion separate from politics. The snake in this Garden of Eden comes in the form of religious zealots of both the Christian and Islamic persuasions.

» Continue reading "Kingdom Of Heaven"

May 11, 2005

What's your Political Typology?

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has updated their "Political Typology," their "effort to sort voters into homogeneous groups based on their values, political beliefs and party affiliation." They aim to look deeper than the typical Republican/Democrat and Liberal/Conservative spectra.

» Continue reading "What's your Political Typology?"

Posted by LawnBoy at 9:50 AM

May 8, 2005

Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Five

War
War is a beast to be kept on a tight leash.

There are those who think they can unleash it, and not have it turn on them. Wrong. Wars are ravenous beasts that rarely stay under control. The only good reason to let loose such a monster is to turn it on another like it, to let it tear that brother of his to shreds. Those who fail to exhaust the monster and force its rest at the end will find themselves staring down the muzzle into the red eyes of the demon they've freed.

» Continue reading "Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Five"

May 7, 2005

And it's 1,2,3 - what are we fighting for?

Did we go into Iraq to (a) spread democracy, or (b) protect ourselves? Instapundit offers a "link-rich refutation" of the "revisionist history" that says the answer is (a). His "refutation" is a beautifully persuasive and artful use of the ellipsis.

» Continue reading "And it's 1,2,3 - what are we fighting for?"

Posted by William Cohen at 9:00 PM

Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Four

Evolution
One could argue that this category falls under my previous entry into this series, but since Evolution occupies such a crucial place in our cultural and scientific society, I felt it deserved an entry of its own.

How could such an important theory become so misunderstood? Easy: because we want it to be something else.

» Continue reading "Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Four"

Does Anyone Else Feel A Draft?

Tip to blog pal Gordon at The Alternate Brain for alerting me to this beyond convincing essay by Michael Schwartz at TomDispatch.com, Letting In The Draft? The very fact that a Selective Service System (SSS) has been quietly erected (with Bush notified a draft can be implemented in 75 days), makes me even feel snookered and uninformed.

» Continue reading "Does Anyone Else Feel A Draft?"

May 5, 2005

Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Three

Science and Technology
It is the basis of our modern society, and its nemesis. Like the Hindu god Shiva, it destroys with one hand and creates with the other. One moment, the basis of your new-fangled scientific approach is cutting edge, the next moment it's in the ashheap of history. It also puts forward compelling ideas that tend to get exaggerated and misinterpreted in the hands of politicians and other manipulators. What is the true face of science? The answer is both scarier and more reassuring.

» Continue reading "Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Three"

May 4, 2005

Where Are The Consequences?

UN member nations are meeting to assess the state of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The consensus seems to be that it's inadequate, if not a disaster. The voluntary treaty requires non-nuclear states to forego nuclear weapons in exchange for the five nuclear states - the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China - moving toward complete disarmament. But commitment to this Cold War era treaty by all parties is weak to non-existent.

» Continue reading "Where Are The Consequences?"

May 1, 2005

Tony Blair and regime change

A leaked memo from July 2002, discussing a meeting between Blair and Bush, is making headlines oversees. I haven't seen discussion of it in the US MSM, but it's worth a read -if nothing else, how often do you get to see a memo headed "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY" and containing the warning "This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents."

» Continue reading "Tony Blair and regime change"

Posted by William Cohen at 2:43 PM