Democrats & Liberals Archives

October 2005 Archives

October 31, 2005

Scalito, the Extremist

Reacting to extreme-Right-Wing unhappiness with Miers, President Bush appointed its darling, Samuel Alito, who is an activist catering to angry white men, an extremist in the mode of Justice Antonin Scalia, which is why he is called Scalito. Like Scalia, Alito is an originalist; in practical terms it means he wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade, cut back civil rights and environmental regulations and usher in an era of laissez faire. Scalia is not a mainstream coservative. He is a far-, far-Right conservative - a dangerous extremist.

» Continue reading "Scalito, the Extremist"

Are Republicans Ready To Do The Math?

1) Cheney pushes for war.
2) Cheney's office willing to throw CIA proliferations agent(covert) under the bus to punish her husband who tries to halt Cheney's push for war.
3) Cheney's underling leaks name of agent to reporters with out the knowledge his boss(wink) in an attempt silence his critic.

» Continue reading "Are Republicans Ready To Do The Math?"

October 30, 2005

The Definition of Insanity

A nation gripped by fear laid down upon it not by terrorism but by the political machinations of a reelection juggernaut may finally be jolted from it's paralysis.

The indictment of the aid to Vice President Cheney this week and the masterful press conference of the prosecutor have finally, it seems, given the nation pause.

» Continue reading "The Definition of Insanity"

October 29, 2005

A Fitzgerald Press Conference Walkthrough

Logic is important in any analysis of the facts. It does require possession of the facts first, and like many Americans, Republicans have been deprived of the real facts of the case. Listening to Fitzgerald's press conference, there were a number of facts brought up that would simply preclude many of the claims the Bush administration and their supporters in the media have made, and I think it's important that those on the Right who are fair-minded and interested in the facts, and not just the administration's narrative of them, become aware of some of these facts, as Patrick Fitzgerald has brought them out.

» Continue reading "A Fitzgerald Press Conference Walkthrough"

October 28, 2005

Ouch! That's gotta hurt: Libby indictment describes the lies behind the message

Scooter Libby is in deep do-do. Fair is fair however; an indictment is only one side of the story; in this case, Patrick Fitzgerald's side. But if half of this is true, Scooter will still be making the same friends that Martha Stewart made, just for a longer amount of time.

» Continue reading "Ouch! That's gotta hurt: Libby indictment describes the lies behind the message"

Arguing Politics vs. Defending Reality

In order to have an intelligent discussion about politics, or anything else, all parties have consent to certain facts that are beyond argument (a.k.a., reality). Although I usually enjoy discussions on Watchblog, this consensual sense of reality is often missing. For example, I am never again going to waste time trying to convince anyone that the Bush administration told the American people that we were in immediate danger from Saddam Hussein. This is so amply documented (not to mention that we all should REMEMBER it), that no source I could cite would convince remaining doubters.

» Continue reading "Arguing Politics vs. Defending Reality"

October 27, 2005

Judicial Litmus Test of Right

We have been told over and over again that the Conservative Right has no litmus test for nominees to the Supreme Court. All they seek, say the Conservatives, is a judge who is a strict constructionist, one who interprets the law and does not make law from the bench. As the big brouhaha with Harriet Miers makes clear, by "strict constructionist" Conservatives mean someone who is against abortion. "Strict constructionist" is code for "anti-abortion." This is the Conservative litmus test for judges.

» Continue reading "Judicial Litmus Test of Right"

Bleak Smeak, Let's Party

The party at Mellon Auditorium clearly demonstrates the resiliency of the Republican party. Why focus their energy on leading?
Why would they focus on the fact that they are losing credibility quicker than it took the Bush administration to lose $8 billion in Iraqi cash?
Why focus on all of the negatives surrounding their crumbling party? Instead surround yourselves with 250 folks who could afford to contribute $15,000 or more to the GOP and have a soiree to celebrate all that is great in this country thanks to the Republican leadership, most importantly, this administration.

» Continue reading "Bleak Smeak, Let's Party"

October 26, 2005

Waiting for 'Fitzmas'

It would have been so much cleaner if America (or that critical 10%) had woken up one year earlier and decisively changed regimes at the ballot box.

While much of the left awaits in excited anticipation of what indictments may be handed down, I share Jack Whelan's trepidation about what that will actually mean for our nation's future.

» Continue reading "Waiting for 'Fitzmas'"

Iraqis Reject Constitution

All three Sunni provinces rejected Iraq's new constitution. Two overwhelmingly rejected the document, but in order to force a re-drafting, Sunnis had to muster a two-thirds 'no' vote in Nineveh province as well. Amid the inevitable claims of ballot fraud, Nineveh only rejected the constitution by 56% -- falling 10% short of the votes needed.

» Continue reading "Iraqis Reject Constitution"

October 25, 2005

Is Bush a Liberal?

In my wildest dreams I never visualized myself referring even tangentially to President Bush as a liberal. He is so far over to the far right that even many conservatives are unhappy with him. And yet, Bush has just nominated Ben Shalom Bernanke to replace Greenspan as head of the Federal Reserve. The conservative National Review, back in August, was unhappy with Bernanke, who was then on top of Bush's short list, because he is not a "supply-sider" and believes in - what a horror! - "full employment." Could it be that Bush is a Democrat in disguise?

» Continue reading "Is Bush a Liberal?"

Run Dick. Run.

With the New York Times now reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney was the source of the Plame leak to Libby, what could be the possible fallout?

» Continue reading "Run Dick. Run."

October 24, 2005

Book Review: The World is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman

The thesis of this book is that computers, cellphones and gadgets of instant communication and processing have boosted global interconnection, people interaction and world collaboration to the point that all of us on the planet are living on the same plane - the world is flat. Because globalization has placed all of us in competition with everyone else on the globe, we must each increase our skills and abilities from just "vanilla" to a beautiful "ice cream sundae" with whipped cream, sauce, nuts and a cherry on top in order to succeed.

» Continue reading "Book Review: The World is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman"

October 21, 2005

Sycophantastic!

So you want to know how to get ahead? Well the only way to get a-head is to be born with one. For those who did not make it, you could use flattery, be a yes man or a yes woman, be a kiss-up. This is how the world's expert in flattery, the star of fawning, the woman who has made an art out of boss worship, Harriet Miers, managed to go from being an ordinary lawyer to a nominee for the top court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sycophantastic!

» Continue reading "Sycophantastic!"

Far Right and Way Off

We are bombarded by the Christian Conservative Right, with their opinions on matters ranging from Supreme Court nominees, Intelligent Design being taught in our schools, Gay marriage, Gambling, Abortion and the War on Terror. If you examine their positions and charges on these issues, are the GOP and the "Christian" groups really sure of what those stances are? The far right need to do a great deal of reevaluating of their positions and the quality of their leadership.
Hypocrisy is not a solid platform. Their "leaders" have demonstrated a love for money supercedes their love for God.
Who will shepherd the flock?

» Continue reading "Far Right and Way Off"

DeLay Wants an Unfair Trial

Unfair to us Democrats, that is. Apparently, DeLay thinks that only Conservatives should judge Conservatives.

I know many Republicans on this site are going to defend this attempt at further politicizing our judicial branch, but this is going too far. There is no provision in the constitution for the freedom to determine the political loyalties of your judge and jury. The best you can be guaranteed is a jury of your peers, the civil liberties that belong to everybody, and the due process of law.

» Continue reading "DeLay Wants an Unfair Trial"

October 20, 2005

Watch Out for Tax Simplification

Bush's tax simplification committee is issuing a report on November 1, 2005. But we already hear about the committee's main recommendations. We can breathe a sigh of relief that there will not be a national sales tax. The simplification consists of reducing 52 schedules down to 10. That's nice for the super-rich who play around with loopholes. But overall, at least to me, their plans - there are 2 - appear to favor those who invest over those who work for their money. The average guy will pay through the nose.

» Continue reading "Watch Out for Tax Simplification"

October 19, 2005

See Dick Run

According to published reports, John Hannah, a senior aide to V. P. Cheney is cooperating with authorities involved in the Plame outing case.

John Hannah is a senior national security aide to Cheney. Cheney snagged Hannah from John Bolton at the time Bolton was the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. And now Hannah is the focus of the investigation and it appears that he has flinched. He was told recently that he could face indictment for his role and wanted his complete cooperation.

» Continue reading "See Dick Run"

October 18, 2005

Moderates are Really Liberals

In a previous post, I defined a moderate as someone in between a conservative and a liberal. I want to correct this. This definition applies to someone who has been elected to an executive or a legislative office. For ordinary folks, the word "moderate" has an entirely different meaning. A person in the general public calls himself a moderate when he or she has the median point of view. And guess what - the median point of view in our society on a whole range of issues is decidedly liberal. Moderates, who are not politicians, are really liberals, though they do not say so.

» Continue reading "Moderates are Really Liberals"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 7:51 PM

Money for Nothing And Checks For Free

The whole thing of preserving the tax cuts isn't centered on being economic, it's centered on being lazy. It's centered on getting free money.

This argument that we're earning it and they're taking it away from us is absurd. A properly functioning government returns our taxes to us in the form of infrastructure, a system of law and order, and the ability to bargain and make war with other nations to see our interests taken care of. We pay for the benefit of having a country, having a civilization, having communities that function and thrive.

» Continue reading "Money for Nothing And Checks For Free"

Let's Eat Cake

Congress is debating the best way to pay for $200 billion worth of reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Republicans want to cut $35 billion from food stamp programs, Medicaid, Medicare, and scores of smaller programs that give Americans a hand up when they need it (no mention of where the other $165 billion will come from), and Democratic strategists believe the party can ride to victory in 2006 by opposing those cuts and calling Republicans big heartless meanies. Not gonna happen.

» Continue reading "Let's Eat Cake"

October 17, 2005

Katrina: A Test of Conservatism

The cataclysmic Katrina Hurricane struck the Gulf Coast a long time ago. Since Bush was awakened from his slumber several days after the hurricane hit, he has gone back to the Gulf Coast at the rate of once a week for a photo opportunity. He made many promises. But he is doing nothing because he does not know what to do and still stick to the major conservative principle of self-reliance. Even Republicans are complaining about the lack of progress. Katrina has presented Bush with a test of the practical value of conservatism.

» Continue reading "Katrina: A Test of Conservatism"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:05 PM

October 14, 2005

Does Business Support Science?

Does business support science? Yes and no. On the one hand, prominent CEOs and Chairmen work with scientists, lab directors and university heads to produce documents urging the enhancement of science and technology as a way to improve our nation's economic prosperity. On the other hand, these same businesspeople have teamed up with religious fundamentalists in the Republican Party who denigrate science and boost anti-science concepts such as "intelligent design." Which side is business on?

» Continue reading "Does Business Support Science?"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:18 PM

Is impeachment a probability?

If something newsworthy happens and no real investigative reporters are around to report on it, did it really happen?

Probably not.

A few months ago, the "I" word was uttered again but this time it had nothing to do with fellatio and marriage vows, it had to do with lies and misleading the American public to war. Zogby conducted a poll in June that first posed the question:
"If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him through impeachment."

» Continue reading "Is impeachment a probability?"

The Care and Feeding of Your New Politician

No, folks, I don't think that snafu about the satellite Q+A between Bush and those soldiers is all that significant. What is intriguing is how much significance has been attached anyways. This is what you get, I think, when folks believe your candidate's presence is terminally stage managed.

As a movie fan, I've observed and experienced the difference in how people react to a creative work and one that's just formulaic, by the numbers. The ideal for all storytellers is full, hearty, and sincere love of your work. That, though, requires a full, hearty and sincere effort on the storyteller's (or politician's) part.

» Continue reading "The Care and Feeding of Your New Politician"

October 13, 2005

Musings about Moderates

A political moderate would tell you he wants to avoid extremes of the left and right. What he is saying essentially is that he does not believe in, or at least he does not think it worth fighting for, the principles driving either party. Some moderates don't see either party standing for principles, but only for gaining power. To change things, they form a third party. In the past, third parties have not prospered, but they did have influence on one or both of the major parties. Some today are so upset with both major parties, they want to establish an anti-incumbent party. This is a losing proposition.

» Continue reading "Musings about Moderates"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:54 PM

Democracy And Terrorism

There's a really good article in the latest Foreign Affairs, "Can Democracy Stop Terrorism?" Unsurprisingly, the answer is no. Truly democratic Arab states would more accurately reflect the opinion of their citizens, and their opinion of the United States is not good. Today, true Arab democracies would produce governments less inclined to cooperate with (if not outright hostile to) the United States, and more sympathetic to anti-American terrorists.

» Continue reading "Democracy And Terrorism"

October 12, 2005

Average American Now "Loves Saddam", "Hates America"

There are certain things you can always say on this website and count on being accused of comforting the enemy, having a pathological hatred of Bush, or, worst of all, being a "liberal". But polls show that a funny thing has happened on the way to conservatives taking over the universe: the average American has become an treasonous, Bush-hating, terrorist-coddling (all in the the conservative mind, of course) liberal.

» Continue reading "Average American Now "Loves Saddam", "Hates America""

Posted by Woody Mena at 9:36 PM

The Theocrat-Plutocrat Crash

Who would have thought that little Miss Miers would be the straw that breaks the elephant's back? Everybody knows that the Republican Party is the party of Big Business - the party of plutocrats. Since tycoons are in the minority, the Republican Party wooed and attracted the people of the religious right - it became the party of the theocrats. The amalgam was extremely successful. Until now. With the nomination of Ms. Miers to the Supreme Court, Bush precipitated a vehement crash between the plutocrats and theocrats in the Republican Party.

» Continue reading "The Theocrat-Plutocrat Crash"

October 11, 2005

Our Tortured President

Ever since the obscene pictures of Abu Ghraib prisoners being tortured swept across the world, we have been subjected to a barrage of pictures and stories about the mistreatment of prisoners at the hands of American troops. Evidently, torture is part of the system. Senator John McCain, who experienced torture first hand, introduced an amendment to a defense bill to prohibit torture. The amendment passed but unbelievably, the president is threatening to veto it! Is President Bush in favor of torture?

» Continue reading "Our Tortured President"

Bush's Lobotomy

For nearly a quarter century, Karl Rove has been George Bush's political mentor. Bush calls him "the architect," the "boy genius." Others have called him "Bush's brain."

Bush has demonstrated nothing but incompetence and an uncanny inability to lead with the "architect" or "boy genius"at his side, how bad will it be if he is making decisions based on his own thought processes?
Is it me or is that prospect frightening?

» Continue reading "Bush's Lobotomy"

October 10, 2005

Do the right thing..but how?

Being a liberal in a family of rightwing Christian conservatives can be a trying experience. It's especially trying, I think, for my daughter.

I've tried to raise my children to be open to the ideas and beliefs of everyone. Not necessarily to take the beliefs as their own. But to allow themselves the opportunity to understand and be empathetic to what other people go through and why. I've also attempted to provide a strong moral code borne not of religion but of a belief that doing the right thing yields good and doing the wrong thing yields evil.

» Continue reading "Do the right thing..but how?"

Posted by Carla Ryan at 6:41 PM

Grow to the Left

Conservatives are running around like chickens with their heads cut off because Bush did not nominate to the Supreme Court a "true conservative." They are fearful that Harriet Miers may turn out to be another - what a horror? - David Souter. Bush tells these conservatives to trust him. But too many of them do not. They are distraught because they know from experience that too many conservative Supreme Court appointees have, with time, learned the virtues of the liberal judicial philosophy and "grown to the left."

» Continue reading "Grow to the Left"

October 9, 2005

The Public's Right to Know

The worst thing about Harriet Miers, for both Republicans and Democrats, is that we have no firm idea of what she believes. This is not merely a question of predetermining decisions. I agree that as the world is complicated place, most attempts to hypothetically treat it in these cases are doomed to oversimplification and ideological convenience.

But no such objections exist for past behavior, and given our recent adventures with Bush's friend Brownie, it is imperative that we Americans find out the qualifications of our officials before they get into office. But that's not all we need to find out.

» Continue reading "The Public's Right to Know"

Revenge Of The 'Campaign Conservative'?

Who would've thunk back on November 3rd, that given two vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court, George W. Bush would be forced to leave it just the way it is?

Or was he forced?

» Continue reading "Revenge Of The 'Campaign Conservative'?"

October 7, 2005

Sorry Works

A big battle is taking place between Senate Republicans and Democrats about malpractice insurance. Republicans, fighting for insurance and health companies, want to place a cap on awards for noneconomic damages. Democrats, fighting for the average health consumer and for trial lawyers, do not want any caps. Sorry Works! is a new idea to replace our current adversarial legal system with a non-fault system where all those concerned get together to apologize for the mishap, to openly negotiate fair compensation and to learn from mistakes made.

» Continue reading "Sorry Works"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:08 PM

God made him do it: Bush's divine intervention

"We're on a mission from gaad." - Elwood Blues, 1980

"God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq." - George W. Bush, 2003

» Continue reading "God made him do it: Bush's divine intervention"

October 6, 2005

Achieving Energy Independence

Everybody is in favor of America becoming independent of foreign sources of energy. Republicans say let's build up our energy sources at home; never mind environmental problems and global warming; it's more important to keep our economy strong. Democrats say protecting our environment and preventing global warming is more important than digging for oil. Amory Lovins, the great environmentalist, says that we can become energy independent and at the same time increase business prosperity and reduce global warming emissions. All of us must get together and do it.

» Continue reading "Achieving Energy Independence"

Death With Dignity Before the Court

Chief Justice Roberts was immediately thrust into presiding over a highly controversial case today. The ability of doctors in Oregon to legally prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients is being challenged by the U.S. Attorney General's office.

» Continue reading "Death With Dignity Before the Court"

What Changes?

Bush is set to do again what he's done many times: make a speech on some subject, trying to sell Americans on something. This time, it will be the Iraq War, as it has been on multiple occasions.

And again, unless something very unlikely happens, people will largely ignore it. He wants to believe that his salesmanship works on people, but he's not very good at telling when he's already worn out his welcome, and much worse at perceiving the patience of his dissenters wearing thin.

» Continue reading "What Changes?"

October 5, 2005

The Swine Diaries: Payback, American style

"Dogs look up at you; cats look down at you, while pigs look you straight in the eye."
-Winston Churchill

The Washington Post reported that more than 90 percent of the money from federal contracts for recovery and reconstruction operations of the Gulf Coast has been spent on companies outside of the region and outside of the affected states.

» Continue reading "The Swine Diaries: Payback, American style"

October 4, 2005

Government by Crony

President George W. Bush chose Harriet Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Conservatives are unhappy with this choice because Miers is not a movement conservative. Liberals are unhappy with this choice because she is obviously a stealth candidate. I believe that nobody should vote for her confirmation because she is not qualified for the job. She got the nomination because she has been a longtime crony of Bush. This is the most recent and most appalling example of government by crony.

» Continue reading "Government by Crony"

Helpful Tool or Privacy Invasion?

From Richard Willing USA Today:

"DNA from tens of thousands of suspected illegal immigrants, captives in the war on terrorism and others who have been arrested but not convicted of federal crimes could be added to a national database of convicts' DNA under a proposal the Senate is likely to vote on soon. "

» Continue reading "Helpful Tool or Privacy Invasion?"

Bush Screws "Values Voters"... Again

Despite a nudge-nudge-wink-wink campaign to make the GOP's evangelical base believe its last Supreme Court nominee was a social fundamentalist, we now know Roberts is a social moderate. And despite Vice President Cheney's assurances to drug-addled radio host Rush Limbaugh that their second nominee "has a conservative judicial philosophy that you would be comfortable with," it turns out Miers was endorsed by Democratic leader Harry Reid and made campaign contributions to the DNC and Al Gore. I guess "values voters" never tire of getting played.

» Continue reading "Bush Screws "Values Voters"... Again"

October 3, 2005

Disaster for Republican Corruption Ringmaster

I have written previously about the Republican Rings of Corruption (here, here, here and here). The ringmaster for this Republican ocean of sleaze, slime and sludge is Tom DeLay, who has been indicted for election shenanigans in Texas. Whether he is eventually found guilty or not does not change the fact that he is the corrupter-in-chief. This indictment is the beginning of the disaster not only for DeLay, the ringmaster, but for the entire Republican Party.

» Continue reading "Disaster for Republican Corruption Ringmaster"

In search of progressive divination

The lack of an articulated cohesive and common vision by the Democratic Party is something I've nibbled around the edges for awhile on my own blog.

The leaders at the national level (with the possible exception of Dean...who is frustratingly villified for taking often direct and no-nonsense stands) offer up an often confusing and muddled defensive stance. The electorate is very wary of putting a group into the seat of power that can't articulate exactly where they want the country to go. Even as the Republicans find their Party leadership mired in scandal, the Democrats stand by seemingly hapless to step in to the potential vacuum.

» Continue reading "In search of progressive divination"

The Bait And Switch Continues

Just as the Bush administration used 9/11 fears to whip up support for attacking Iraq, and the 2003 California wildfires as an excuse to cut down healthy forests far from populated areas (homeowners still suffer from massive wildfires every year), they're now using gasoline price spikes caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to roll back regulations that keep our air clean and our country beautiful and livable.

» Continue reading "The Bait And Switch Continues"