Democrats & Liberals Archives

August 2006 Archives

August 31, 2006

Thoughts on "Category 5"

The subtitle of this book is: The Story of Camille, Lessons Unlearned From America's Most Violent Hurricane., and I think it speaks volumes. Within this book, we see what is perhaps the most intense Hurricane every to strike our shores, and the confused, paralyzed response in the aftermath. I've always maintained that it is better to learn from somebody else's mistakes than your own. Let us take an opportunity to do so here.

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Are Bush's Actions Appeasement?

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in his inimitable prose, called dissenters of the Iraq war and those who advocate an exit strategy, appeasers. He compared these dissenters to those who tried to appease Hitler. They were wrong and today's appeasers are wrong, he proclaimed. This set me wondering. Did the adminstration of George W. Bush ever indulge in appeasement?

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Not For Sale

I live in a small, quiet beachside community where everyone knows their neighbor. As I drive through the community, the sea of roadside signs that dot the landscape of every yard strikes me. What is so striking about roadside signs during election season? These are not campaign signs, they are "Not for Sale" signs.

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August 30, 2006

Should We Debate Iran?

President Ahmadinejad of Iran challenged President Bush of U.S. to a debate. What was Bush's response? He disregarded it because the administration felt that it was a means of avoiding the issue of uranium enrichment. This is obviously so. But Iran, in one form or another, has been trying since 2003 to have a dialogue with U.S. The answer has always been a stiff-necked "NO."

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Removing Citizenship the FBI Way

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a story about two American citizens, one a naturalized citizen originally from Pakistan and his son, who was born in the U.S. that were refused entry back into the U.S. after a 4 year trip. They were told that they could not return to the U.S. unless they complied with the FBI's request for interrogation and a polygraph.

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August 29, 2006

Katherine Harris: Thomas Jefferson was a liar!

Well that's it! It's all settled! None other than Florida Republican Katherine Harris, has finally settled the debate about the proper role of religion in politics. Apparently, according to Harris, Thomas Jefferson was a big fat liar when he called the first amendment's Establishment Clause a "wall of separation between church and state." Harris believes she knows more about the founder's intent than the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence! Simply amazing.

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August 28, 2006

Is Government the Problem?

Ronald Reagan famously said that government is not the solution, it is the problem. Since then, his theory has swept through the Republican Party. But not until today, when all three branches are controlled by Republicans, and all aspects of government, both domestic and foreign-related, are in one catastrophic mess, were the Republicans able to prove it.

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August 27, 2006

Free Speech Or Censorship?

This story could end up being pivotal in terms of both free speech and censorship issues. The US government arrested and charged Javed Iqbal - an American businessman originally from Pakistan - for providing customers in New York with broadcasts from Al Manar (a "Hizbullah" television station in Lebanon).

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Thoughts on "The Change in the Weather"

Global Warming is often reduced to simple changes in temperature, but as anybody knows, temperature is just one part of climate, and things interlock. The Right has a tendency to jump on uncertainty as a means to trip up those who claim that temperatures are heating up on the planet. We must understand, though, that the uncertainty is ours, not nature's.

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August 25, 2006

Iraq-Countdown for Iran

For many months before the black day, Bush led us into the Iraq fiasco by interpreting every single incident, every single Iraq statement, every single UN inspector statement, every single scrap of intelligence in the worst possible light. War....war....war was the sole solution. All the steps he followed then he is following now. Bush is relentlessly applying the Iraq-countdown to Iran.

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August 24, 2006

Iran Wants to Talk

It was annoying me. It's a couple of days since Iran presented its reply to the Europeans and Americans about its nuclear enrichment program and nowhere could I find out what the Iranians actually said. Finally, I came across a Washington Post article that suggests some details. From the fragments it offers, I could see that Iran wants to talk. Instead of mounting an Iraq-type self-destructing military offensive, why not talk to Iran?

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August 23, 2006

Katrina One Year On

As we approach the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we should remember the lessons. Fortunately, this season looks a lot more benign. (Some people said global warming was to blame for last year; they saying less now.) Katrina represented a failure at all levels of government or maybe we should reassess what we ask of government.

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Posted by Jack at 11:31 PM | Comments (147)

August 22, 2006

Nasrallah vs. Siniora

We are not in the midst of a clash of civilizations. The clash is not between Muslims and the West. Nor is the primary conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, nor between Americans and Arabs, nor between Shi-ites and Sunnis. The historical conflict is between Muslims who glorify death and Muslims who glorify life. The former is represented by Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, and the latter by Siniora, the prime minister of Lebanon.

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August 21, 2006

Straight Talker John McCain

Remember the Straight Talk Express manned by John McCain during the 2000 Republican primary? John McCain told the nation about things as they were. He was so effective, it appeared he would be the Republican nominee for president. Until Rove and Bush smeared him into irrelevancy. Evidently he learned a lesson. Nowadays straight talker John McCain no longer talks straight.

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The King of America is dead, at least according to the federal courts

When Federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor handed down her judgment (link) in the case against the US's NSA warrant-less eavesdropping case she not only announced to the world that the NSA's program was unconstitutional and should stop immediately, she also announced to the world that King George will no long exist as an entity.

» Continue reading "The King of America is dead, at least according to the federal courts"

Nine Out of Ten

Lieberman tells us that he's with us nine out of ten times with his votes, so we're just being partisan by not reelecting him as our Democratic candidate for that Senate seat, and opposing his reelection altogether. The trouble with this argument is this: that ten percent was the wrong ten percent. There are issues that we Democrats could have let slide, and often do, such as those on abortion, gay rights, and gun control.

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August 19, 2006

Wiretaps Ruled Illegal, But Fight Is Not Over

Bush's use of warrantless wiretaps have been ruled unconstitutional on two different grounds. First, the warrantless wiretaps themselves were ruled illegal. Second, Bush's claiming of the authority to order the wiretaps was declared unconstitutional.

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August 18, 2006

Freedom, Not Interference with Freedom

As I have said in a previous post, to be called true freedom one person's freedom must not interfere with another person's freedom. Many on the right, especially the religious right, have distorted this idea of freedom. They insist on a concept of religious freedom that interferes with the religious freedom of those of different faith.

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When Conservatives Hated Lieberman

They may love him now, but in 2000 they thought he was a sanctimonious flip-flopper who pandered to Louis Farrakhan. This National Review article from December 2000 makes for a juicy bill of particulars.

» Continue reading "When Conservatives Hated Lieberman"

August 17, 2006

Is Lieberman a Republican?

Joe Lieberman claims he is a Democrat at heart, even though he is challenging Ned Lamont, who won the Democratic Connecticut primary. Lieberman feels good because he is now ahead in the polls: He has 53% to 41% for Lamont, with Republican Schlessinger getting only 4%. Since primarily Republicans are rooting for him, Lieberman has essentially become the Republican candidate. Is Lieberman a Republican?

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A DINO leaves Connecticut

Joe Lieberman is no Democrat. He is a DINO; a Democrat In Name Only. He never represented the party and his actions last week proved that fact.

» Continue reading "A DINO leaves Connecticut"

August 16, 2006

Republican "Freedom"

President George W. Bush talks frequently and eloquently about democracy and freedom. All Americans applaud. However, what does he (and other Republicans) mean when he speaks of "freedom"? Almost always, he links democracy with free enterprise, free markets and free trade. The Constitution and liberal Americans mean something entirely different when they speak of "freedom."

» Continue reading "Republican "Freedom""

The Dust Settles

As the dust settles, it's become clear that America was the big loser in Lebanon. For more than a month, President Bush gave the Israeli Army free rein and insisted there could be no cease-fire until Hezbollah was disarmed. Well, that didn't happen, and the failure of Israel to quickly meet its strategic goals in Lebanon also means the defeat of American strategic aims in the Greater Middle East.

» Continue reading "The Dust Settles"

August 15, 2006

A Conservative Icon Agrees with Liberals

Hold onto your hats. You will not believe this, but it is true. The conservative icon, George Will, has written remarks that a good, upstanding Republican would find outrageous, if not traitorous. I didn't believe it when I read it. But after reading it again, I decided I must write this article. Wow! Here was Mr. Conservative George Will praising John Kerry and the liberal position on the Iraq war generally!

» Continue reading "A Conservative Icon Agrees with Liberals"

GOP Racism and Nativism on Display

Virginia Senator George Allen (R) had some nasty words for a person of color from his opponent's campaign:

"This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt -- Macaca, or whatever his name is -- he's with my opponent... Let's give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."
» Continue reading "GOP Racism and Nativism on Display"

August 14, 2006

False Leadership

According to George Lakoff, in his book "Whose Freedom?" both conservatives and progressives use the nation-as-family metaphor, but they differ in the models they use. Conservatives believe in the strict-father model, or frame, while progressives follow the nurturant-parent frame. On the surface, these frames seem to explain why Republicans slavishly follow our dear leader whereas Democrats do not. However, Republicans should not be so gung ho for Bush either because he exercises false leadership.

» Continue reading "False Leadership"

The Neat Little Boxes of Euphemisms

Collateral Casualties. It's a nice, clean definition for the death of innocents in the addition to that of soldiers, guerillas, insurgents, and terrorists. There have been many in this war, and the general consensus is that they are unavoidable. The question is, though, does the term have any real meaning for the people stuck in the brutal reality of this or any other war?

» Continue reading "The Neat Little Boxes of Euphemisms"

August 13, 2006

So Many Choices

The same week polls showed a new high in American disapproval of the Iraq War, we also saw anti-Iraq War challenger Ned Lamont beat Iraq War advocate Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic Primary. This led to an interesting debate in the print media that was completely missed by TV: If the President's on the wrong track in Iraq, then what are the other options? President Bush would have you believe that the choice is "stay the course" or "cut and run", but the truth is, there are plenty of other solutions available.

» Continue reading "So Many Choices"

August 12, 2006

War on Democrats

"War on terror." Republicans use "war on terror" a lot. Do you think they say "war on terror" as a way to fight the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or other terrorists? No. Every chance they get, Republican leaders, from President Bush on down, use "war on terror" and similar expressions to wage war not on terrorists but on Democrats.

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August 11, 2006

Tony Snow is Correct - Sort Of

The position of the Bush Regime is that withdrawal from Iraq will create a failed state that will be a haven for terrorists. Right you are!!! Tony Snow... Snow Job, Aug. 9, 2006.

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A Letter to Joe Lieberman

Hi Joe:

Since your hard-to-take loss to Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary, you have been getting sympathy and advice from all sorts of people, especially from your colleagues in the Republican Party. After 18 years in the Senate, I'm sure you realize that these Republicans are not as concerned about your welfare as they are about their own vulnerable hides. By working with Republicans, you will destroy your legacy of a productive career as an icon of the Democratic Party.

» Continue reading "A Letter to Joe Lieberman"

One Defeat is Not a Purge

In Slate, Michael Tomasky makes a point I've been wanting to make:

At this minute, eight Democratic Senate incumbents who voted in favor of the Iraq resolution are seeking re-election: Cantwell, Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Tom Carper (Del.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), and of course Joe Lieberman (Conn.), now as an independent. And of those eight, exactly one -- Lieberman -- faced or is facing a serious primary challenge because of the war.
» Continue reading "One Defeat is Not a Purge"

August 10, 2006

Knowledge is Best Defense against Terrorism

In the days and weeks following 9/11, what always struck me as missing in the response was a clear message to the terrorists that they had used up that method of operation. Not because of new security measures at airports, but because the method was now common knowledge. What happened on the fourth flight was proof, that given knowledge our citizens can be relied upon to react as necessary.

» Continue reading "Knowledge is Best Defense against Terrorism"

Defense As Well

You fellows may be waking up today to news of a British-disrupted plot, likely by al-Qaeda, to blow up jets with liquid explosives. First and foremost, this is not the first such plot that has been disrupted. This is not a new tactics for our enemies. Given these tactics, we must once again question the wisdom of the Right-Wing assertion that we fight in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here.

» Continue reading "Defense As Well"

August 9, 2006


August 8, 2006 will go down in history as FDR Day - Fantastic Democratic Revival Day. A previously unknown candidate, Ned Lamont, beat the 18-year-veteran Democratic-establishment candidate, Joe Lieberman, in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. This feat shows that the Little Guy has been revived from years of fear and is ready, eager and able to reclaim the Democratic Party and bring it back to working for the good of each of us, not just for the rich.

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Senator Lamont - Maybe

There will be lots of speculation on what to expect from a 3-way race for the Senate in Connecticut, but it's way too early to say just how it will shake out. Senator Lamont has a nice ring to it to my ears, but I'll wait and see.

The other nonsense I've already seen from the right is how Lamont's victory represents the ascendancy of the radical left in Democratic politics. Lamont is a sensible mainstream Democrat.

» Continue reading "Senator Lamont - Maybe"

August 7, 2006

The Unstated Truth - False Power - and "My Pet Goat"

The Mideast is such a mess that I have not wanted to have an opinion about it. I have been waiting for other WatchBlog authors to solve that problem. But it continues, so none of you have solved it. Do you think I can?

» Continue reading "The Unstated Truth - False Power - and "My Pet Goat""

A Middle East Conference

The Middle East is on fire. Iraq is in the middle of a sectarian civil war, with America caught in the middle. Israel is fighting a two front war: with Hamas and Hezbollah. Lebanon is being torn apart. Iran and Syria are arming Hezbollah. It is also believed that Iran is building nuclear weapons. This fire is set to spread. How do we extinguish the fire?

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August 6, 2006

Thoughts on The One Percent Doctrine

The doctrine of the title of this newest of Ron Suskind's books sounds good on paper to those who would like action against the terrorists, and not a bunch of hand-wringing: If there is even a one percent chance that a threat could emerge, we treat that threat as a certainty and act. The book, essentially deals with the problem of that approach, especially when you ask this question: what action, and why?

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August 4, 2006

Veteran Republican Advocates a Democratic House

To give you an idea of how bad the House smells, the veteran California Republican Pete McCloskey, who lost his primary challenge to the incumbent chairman of the House Resources Committee Richard Pombo, wrote a letter endorsing Jerry McNerney, the Democrat in the district race, and expressing the need for a Democratic majority in the House in 2007.

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How To Make A Pony Disappear - The Middle East

There's an old joke about a person confronted with a room full of horse manure. The punch line is "With this much shit, there's got to be a pony in there somewhere." I am a "news junkie" and it is hard to keep up with the different strategies of reporting; what gets covered and how; what doesn't get covered; what pops to the top of the news, and what does not. I don't know if I can make any sense of the insanity that is coming across the wires, but there are nagging discrepancies that deserve mentioning.

» Continue reading "How To Make A Pony Disappear - The Middle East"

Denial isn't just a river running through Iraq

Donald Rumsfeld declared yesterday, before Congress and under oath, "(he) never painted a rosy picture" (about the war in Iraq) and challenged the inquisitive senators "you would have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I have been overly optimistic."

Alrighty then.... i'll take that challenge.

» Continue reading "Denial isn't just a river running through Iraq"

August 3, 2006

Fluffy Pillows

Lewis Lapham, the master of the bon mot, describes the actions of the current Republican administration as "plucking the feathers of the poor to fluff the pillows of the rich." Worried about the coming election, though, House Republicans offered a teensie weensie poor-feather-plucking reduction by passing the so-called minimum wage bill that increases the minimum wage from the current $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour by 2009.

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I can't take it anymore. Over and over again, commentators describe Ned Lamont supporters as being members of the fringe, extreme, anti-war left. Have these people looked at any of the polls on Iraq?

» Continue reading "Ultra-Left?!"

August 2, 2006

The Key "Hearts-and-Minds" Word

America has been using the word "democracy" a lot in order to influence the "hearts-and-minds" of the Muslim world to turn away from terrorism. So far we have not inluenced many people, if any. Take a look at what is happening at the 3 new "democracies" in the Middle East: Iraq, the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon. We need a new word that represents American philosophy better and that will be easier to sell.

» Continue reading "The Key "Hearts-and-Minds" Word"

Haditha and Elsewhere

An official involved in The Military's investigation into the Haditha incident say that it is likely that Marines deliberately killed 24 civilians. Which of course is what many on the Blue Column have been saying for some time. Not that everybody's been really listening.

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August 1, 2006

Lebanon: The New Afghanistan

Criticism of Israel is flying fast and furious from the right and from the left. Yes, everybody admits, Israel was attacked by Hezbollah and it has a right to defend itself. But do they have to use such disproportionate force? Do they have to kill women and children? We must have a cease fire immediately. I don't recall anyone saying anything like this when U.S. invaded Afghanistan in reprisal for 9/11. What's the difference?

» Continue reading "Lebanon: The New Afghanistan"

Woody’s 2006 Senate Forecast: August Edition

As the name suggests, this will be a regular feature. See you again in September.

Predicted Breakdown: 51 R, 49 D.

» Continue reading "Woody’s 2006 Senate Forecast: August Edition"