Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bush Should Consider Advisers' Track Records

Bush was asked this weekend about proposals by some members of Congress, i.e. John McCain, to send more troops to Iraq in an effort to stabilize the country: "I haven't made any decisions about troop increases or troop decreases, and won't until I hear from a variety of sources," Bush replied.

Who do you suppose those sources would be?

Kenneth Pollack is the director of research at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He's formerly a Middle East analyst at the CIA and the National Security Council -- sounds like good credential, huh? He recently commented "One of the many tragedies of Iraq is that we now have experienced military commanders with sound strategies, and we are still failing to adequately support them with the necessary troops, civilian personnel, and funds."

I assume he will be one of the sources.

However, Pollack doesn’t have a good track record, but that’s never stopped Bush before. Here's what Ken Pollack said in his book The Threatening Storm (pp. 173-175:

“....Just to be clear about this: in 1990, Iraq built a workable nuclear weapon. All it lacked was the fissile material. “

Yeah, right. And in the early 1990s, Warner Bros. built a workable time machine. All it lacked was the flux capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts of electricity.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good News In Washington's Congressional Races

My first reaction after the election results came out last Tuesday was disappointment because I was greedy and wanted it ALL!! Now that a week has gone by and I have a little more perspective, I’m beginning to see the glass half full and not half empty. Even though Burner, Goldmark, and Wright didn’t make it to the House; we set up these three candidates to be formidable competitors in two years. Plus when I really analyzed the results, there’s more good news in the vote counts.

Each of the Republican members of Congress re-elected in 2006, won by a narrower margin than they did in 2004 – a SIGNIFICANTLY narrower margin. Doc Hastings in the 4th Congressional District won by a margin of 25% of the vote in 2004 and was only able to squeak out a win by 16% in 2006. McMorris, in the 5th, won by 19% in 2004 and only 9% this year. Reichert won by 5% in 2004 and it’s so close that they’re still counting the votes in the 8th this year.

Every Democratic Congressional candidate won by a SIGNIFICANTLY wider margin in 2006 when compared to 2006. Even someone like McDermott who won by 61% in 2004 gathered a larger margin in 2006 – 64%! Brian Baird won by a margin of 24% in 2004 and despite the high population growth and changing demographics in his district, he won by a margin of 30% this year! Likewise Adam Smith won by 29% in 2004 and 32% in 2006.

We Dems pulled a larger percent of the vote in EVERY Congressional race this year. WOW! I think that’s very good news!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I ALMOST Agree with Reich

Robert Reich, my favorite DOL Secretary, has an article in the American Prospect where he expresses a GREAT "to do" list for Dems:

Cut the Alternative Minimum Tax so it doesn't slam the middle class, and roll back the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Open Medicare to every American who needs affordable health insurance, and use Medicare's resulting huge bargaining clout to reduce drug prices.

Bar companies from deducting from their corporate income taxes any executive pay in excess of $1 million a year.

Raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation.

Reform Social Security by eliminating the ceiling on payments so people earning over $100,000 a year pay the same percent of their income as everyone else.

Raise fuel economy standards, eliminate subsidies to the oil companies, and use the money instead for basic R&D in non-carbon based energy.

Renegotiate the Kyoto protocols on greenhouse gas emissions.

And while we're at it, reaffirm the Geneva Conventions.

I like everything on his list -- BUT he recommends that we avoid trying to expose the malfeasance and nonfeasance of the Bush Administration -- find out who really knew what and when with regard to weapons of mass destruction, Abu Graahb, Katrina, payoffs to Abramoff, and all the other rot.

His reasoning:
There's no point digging up more dirt. Bush isn't running again. John McCain, the Republican's most likely choice to replace him, has distanced himself so far from the administration that no amount of dirt will soil him. Besides, the public and the media are already suffering from outrage fatigue. And the Democrats wouldn't be credible, anyway. It will be easy for Republicans to dismiss their efforts as more of the same old partisan bickering. The fact is, the public is sick of mud-slinging.

I'd love to see Bush and Cheney go down in flames but I fear the long term consequences of that path versus the short term benefits. I say let's take a higher road and not investigate the Administration BUT we MUST -- AT A MINIMUM -- do a thorough investigation and enforcement on all private companies that screwed us in Iraq and during Katrina with their no-bid, no-perform, no accountability contracts. The ones that didn't deliver, provided contaminated water to our troops, over charged, built shitty (literally) buildings in Iraq, drove empty trucks back and forth in Iraq just to pad the bill, didn't provide Katrina clean up as contracted, didn't show up with ice and transportation, had questionable accounting, unaccounted for missing cash, and so on and so on -- need to pay the American people back all the money they robbed from us. We cannot become accessories after the fact and forgive and forget this -- otherwise they'll just do it to us again and again.

Remember what Bush said during his first campaign -- "It's YOUR money!"

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sen John McCain

During Meet the Press today, McCain started fantasizing:

SEN. McCAIN: Well, first of all, I believe that a lot of Americans trust my judgment on issues such as this because of the experience and background that I have.

Who is he kidding besides himself? We lost all trust in McCain the day he flipped and supported Bush's torture plan.