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, February 26, 2007

WOW -- Hold the Party Line OR ELSE!!

Outdoor Life Magazine fired Jim Zumbo (who has written for them since 1952 ) because they didn't agree with his opinion he expressed in his blog. Don't believe me? Click on the link in the title.

Some background -- Jim Zumbo is one of those fixtures in hunting and fishing circles -- always a featured speaker at Sports Shows, regular writer in magazines, book author, has videos, often found in those out-of-door shows on the Outdoor Channel on TV. He's popular, well thought of, funny, etc. So it must have been some outrageous statement made in his blog, right? Maybe he admitted to being a child molester or poacher, right?

A Righty blogger said they had been sold out by one of their own -- and so the blog storm and letters started.

Here's what Kevin Drum over at Polital Animal said:

Last week he wrote a single ill-considered blog post, and after a flurry of complaints he followed it up 36 hours later with the most abject apology imaginable. His blog has since been taken down, but trust me on this: he told his readers that it had been late and he was tired; that he had written in ignorance; that what he said was stupid; that he apologized; and that he was going to make an effort to learn more about the subject in question (AR platforms for hunting). He practically got down on his knees and begged forgiveness.

As usual these days, it did no good. The slavering hordes were unappeased and he's now out of a job, has lost his sponsorships and his TV show, and might as well move to a desert island to live out the rest of his years now. He's a pariah.

Kevin used it as an example of the hypocracy of asking for appologies.

Blaine Harden over at The Washington Post said Zumbo equated hunters with terrorists.

So here's what Jim Zumbo really wrote:

Assault Rifles For Hunters?

As I write this, I'm hunting coyotes in southeastern Wyoming with Eddie Stevenson, PR Manager for Remington Arms, Greg Dennison, who is senior research engineer for Remington, and several writers. We're testing Remington's brand new .17 cal Spitfire bullet on coyotes.

I must be living in a vacuum. The guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. Only once in my life have I ever seen anyone using one of these firearms.

I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."

Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."

This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the praries and woods.


GAWD! Unbelievable!! The NRA and the righties sent out the attack dogs and ruined a man's career for that!? He's been accused of trying to coddle Rosie O'Donnell, boosbikesboomsticks wrote:
Wow, strip off that down-home looking camo, and underneath it this guy is wearing a pink Million Mom March tee shirt.
; snowflakesinhell said:
I'm calling on everyone who has read the Zumbo article and has a subscription to Outdoor Life to cancel your subscription. At the least, make sure they know you're really unhappy with the article.
, dailypundit calles him "Dumbo Zumbo", -- and it goes on and on . . .

I guess Amanda was lucky to get out alive!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

President Carter "Hearts" Al Gore

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Reports: In an exclusive interview with former President Jimmy Carter set to air on Sunday's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos", Carter lavished praise on "(his) favorite Democrat) former Vice President Al Gore.

Carter told ABC News, "If Al should decide to run ... I would support Al Gore."

The former Democratic President asserted Gore could accomplish much more in the White House than he ever could as a private citizen, saying to Stephanopoulos, "His burning issue now is global warming and preventing it. He can do infinitely more to accomplish that goal as in the incumbent in the White House..."

It's starting to feel like a real draft is happening.


Northwest Progressive Institute "Hearts" Al Gore

The money quote:

We have said numerous times that we're staying out of the presidential sweepstakes...but there's one thing that could change that: an announcement by Al Gore that he will seek the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2008. Though Gore has said repeatedly that he has no plans to run, the greatest thing he could do for his country would be to grace us with a real campaign for President.

Cross your fingers!


I Suffer From Supreme Court Envy

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the security certificate system used by the federal government to detain and deport foreign-born terrorist suspects.

Sounds great, huh?

Unfortunately it not OUR Government -- it's Canada. How can our Justices look each other in the face? Here's the rest of the story:

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the security certificate system used by the federal government to detain and deport foreign-born terrorist suspects.

In a 9-0 judgment handed down Friday, the court found that the system, described by the government as a key tool for safeguarding national security, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The high court gave Parliament one year to re-write the law that's keeping three men at the centre of the case in legal limbo.


The court said while it might not be arbitrary to detain the suspects in the first instance, it's arbitrary to continue the detention without a review for such a long time, she said.The court said the men, who are accused of having ties to al-Qaeda, have the right to see and respond to evidence against them. It pointed to a law in Britain that allows special advocates or lawyers to see sensitive intelligence material, but not share details with their clients.

In its ruling, the court said while it's important to protect Canada's national security, the government can do more to protect individual rights.

But the court suspended the judgment from taking legal effect for a year, giving Parliament time to write a new law complying with constitutional principles.

Critics have long denounced the certificates, which can lead to deportation of non-citizens on the basis of secret intelligence presented to a Federal Court judge at closed-door hearings.

Those who fight the allegations can spend years in jail while the case works its way through the legal system. In the end, they can sometimes face removal to countries with a track record of torture, say critics.


National health care, low military budget, non-aggressive internation policy, reasonable drug penalty laws, and habeas corpus. What a great Country! Too bad it's not ours.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Joel Connelly "hearts" Gore

Joel Connelly in Friday's Seattle "PI" has a column where he talks about how Ralph Nader is all about promotion of Nader and has been since 2000. I was so frustrated by his masturbatory run for President in 2000 so I was intersted in reading Connelly's take --- But a BONUS!!!

Connelly compares Gore favorably to Nader.

Likewise, the man ridiculed by Nader in 2000 has attained new and global stature.

Al Gore has watched his early global warming warnings be vindicated by a landslide of scientific evidence.

With the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," he has found a way to outflank the political press and make complicated material accessible to the public. The film is up for an Oscar, and Gore has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

What a transition: While Nader worships at the altar of his own unappreciated brilliance, Gore speaks to the world.


Taylor Marsh Clears Up the Mess

There's been much of this argument to rush to war with Iran that stunk but I couldn't put it all together. Taylor Marsh has one of the best posts on this phoney run up I've seen.

Breaking News: Americans caught with Iranian Weapons in Iraq

United States officials in Baghdad were reported to be in possession of Iranian made weapons. In a brazen display of "intelligence", the Americans proudly showed off their Iranian-made weapons to reporters:

The BBC's Jane Peel attended the briefing in Baghdad, at which all cameras and recording devices were banned.

Examples of the allegedly smuggled weapons were put on display, including EFPs, mortar shells and rocket propelled grenades which the US claims can be traced to Iran.

"The weapons had characteristics unique to being manufactured in Iran... Iran is the only country in the region that produces these weapons," an official said.

Someone call Michael Gordon.

At a briefing today in Baghdad, US officials accused Iran of arming al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Iraq:

The defense analyst said Iran was working through "multiple surrogates" — mainly "rogue elements" of the Shiite Mahdi Army — to smuggle the EFPs into Iraq. He said most of the components are entering the country at crossing points near Amarah, the Iranian border city of Meran and the Basra area of southern Iraq.

The US officials also neatly tied Iran into the 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Kuwait and the trafficking in arms in Iraq:

Last week, U.S. officials said they were investigating allegations that Shiite lawmaker Jamal Jaafar Mohammed was a main conduit for Iranian weapons entering the country. Mohammed has believed to have fled to Iran.

The "evidence" against Iran and the Mahdi Army continues to pile up. But there is something fishy here.

The Bush Administration claims that Iranians caught in recent raids buttress clams of Iranian involvement. The targets of American ire appear to be Iran and the Mahdi Army. However, the Iranians were captured in Kurdish held Erbil and in Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's compound in Baghdad. In both instances, the Iranians were working with American allies in Iraq - the Kurds and the SCIRI. In the Erbil case, Kurdish leaders protested the American operation and in the curious case of the raid on al-Hakim's compound, pressure from SCIRI forced the US to release their prize.

Now we come to Mr. Jamal Jaafar Mohammed. Most reports of his involvement in the 1983 bombing gloss over his political affiliation. Mr. Mohammed was at the time of the bombing a member of SCIRI, the same group that is now an ally of Mr. Bush, and is currently a member of the Badr Organization, which is the current incarnation of the military wing of SCIRI:

An engineering graduate from Basra University in southern Iraq, he was active in the Shiite opposition to Saddam and was affiliated with the political and military wing of the Badr Brigade. He served as a top commander in the militia in the 1980s.

The brigade was organized and trained by the Iranians to fight against Iraq in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and was led by Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a key political figure here. Shiite officials say the Badr Brigade gave up its weapons and was transformed into a political movement after Saddam's regime collapsed in 2003.

Mohammed ran for parliament on the Badr ticket. The organization is part of the Shiite alliance that also includes al-Maliki. Mohammed served as a political adviser to al-Maliki's predecessor, Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

I should also note that the attack on the American and French embassies in Kuwait in 1983 were conducted by the Dawa Party and the SCIRI, which are both now our allies in Iraq. The Dawa Party is also conveniently the party that helped set up Hezbollah in Lebanon:

There are at least five such groups here, known as Al Fajr, Jihad, Jundullah, Hizbullah and Harisullah.

According to Shiite political sources, they are linked with the Iraqi Shiite underground organization Ad Dawa, which has been working to set up Iranian-style Islamic republics in Iraq and other Persian Gulf countries.

It is possible, the analysts and diplomats said, that the pro-Iranian groups have abducted Americans to exchange them for the 22 Dawa members who have been tried and convicted in Kuwait for the bombing Dec. 12 of the American and French embassies.

The Bush Administration has indeed made a fine bed with terrorists in Iraq.

There is very little doubt that Iran is supporting the Shia factions and the Kurds in Iraq. However, the factions Iran is supporting are the same factions that the Bush Administration is supporting. The Shia faction that gets the least support from Iran, and that is ideologically the least aligned with Iran is the Mahdi Army. Yet, the Administration's plan, as laid out in the Hadley memo, appears to be to isolate the Mahdi Army and empower the very factions, Dawa and SCIRI, that Iran has been helping.

The Bush Administration is spinning a story about Iran that is full of contradictions. The Bush Administration cannot claim to target Iran for arming the same groups that the United States itself is arming, without addressing its own behavior and alliances in Iraq. It has been clear from the start that the United States has put in power terrorists and thugs (Dawa and SCIRI) in Iraq. To support its drumbeat to war against Iran, it cannot now cry foul without addressing its own hypocrisy in Iraq. To the extent that they have both sponsored the same actors in Iraq, the Bush Administration and Iran have been allies.

So, when the Bush Administration claims that some Iranian arms have been found in the hands of Shia militia in Iraq, I am unimpressed. The United States has, over the last four years, armed the Shia militias to the teeth by equipping the SCIRI and Badr Brigade controlled Iraqi Interior Ministry. In the contest of arms shipments to Iraqi Shia militias, the United States wins the arms race hands down. Having armed, equipped and trained a party to a civil war, the Bush Administration has been the driving force of instability in Iraq. When the Bush Administration accuses Iran of fomenting sectarian violence in Iraq, it ignores the elephant in the room, that is, the United States.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Yeah! Smith & Baird Stand Up for Worker Rights

Our 2 Congressmen are co-sponsors of The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800), which will level the playing field for workers and employers. This bill would restore the right of American workers to form or join unions. This is an extremely important piece of workers' rights legislation!


Baird, Brian (D-WA-03)
Smith, Adam (D-WA-09)

Take THAT, WalMart!!

I'm Disappointed in Edwards

Salon is reporting that Edwards fired his 2 bloggers. If he can't stand up to a little heat from the likes of Michelle Malkin, how would he ever stand up to a hostile Congress and Senate or GAWD forbid Osamma Bin Laden? If this is true, he's lost me as a supporter. I'm really disappointed -- I liked his 2 America message and thought he was a leader.

Edwards campaign fires bloggers
The right-wing blogosphere has gotten its scalps -- John Edwards has fired the two controversial bloggers he recently hired to do liberal blogger outreach, Salon has learned.

The bloggers, Amanda Marcotte, formerly of Pandagon, and Melissa McEwan, of Shakespeare's Sister, had come under fire from right-wing bloggers for statements they had previously made on their respective blogs. A statement by the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, which called Marcotte and McEwan "anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots," and an accompanying article on the controversy in the New York Times this morning, put extra pressure on the campaign.

Speculation from sources that the two bloggers might be rehired was bolstered by Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Edwards campaign, who said in an e-mail that she would "caution [Salon] against reporting that they have been fired. We will have something to say later."

This isn't the first Internet-related misstep for the Edwards campaign, which had been making an effort to reach out to the "netroots" but has found its popularity dropping in a straw poll done on the landmark liberal blog Daily Kos. Though he still leads the poll by one point over Sen. Barack Obama, Edwards' support has dropped nine points in the past three weeks. He has also come under fire in the liberal blogosphere for his statements on Iran and his campaign's failure to return the calls of supporters and press, and was embarrassed when his Web site mistakenly revealed his candidacy a day before his official announcement in New Orleans.

Leading the charge against Marcotte -- and to a lesser extent McEwan -- have been bloggers like the National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez and Michelle Malkin. Malkin originally accused Marcotte of trying to scrub Pandagon's archives of material that could be embarrassing to the Edwards campaign. When that proved untrue, Malkin posted a correction, but said that the fact that she had been wrong was "even worse for the Edwards campaign" because "its blogmaster left crackpot posts like that one up and hired her anyway."

Malkin, it should be noted, is hardly innocent of being involved with what ABC News' Terry Moran termed "hate speech" when applied to Marcotte. Malkin has long maintained ties to VDARE, a Web site tagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center that has published works by people like Jared Taylor, one of America's leading white supremacists, and Sam Francis, who was fired by the conservative Washington Times for his own white supremacist remarks, given at a conference held by Taylor's organization. The liberal press watchdog Media Matters has also noted Donohue's long list of controversial statements.

-- Alex Koppelman and Rebecca Traister

UPDATE 1-8-07 3:15pm

Ewards responded:

Statement on Campaign Bloggers
John Edwards in News
2/08/2007 at 11:36 AM EST

The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.


John Amato says at his blog at

But the netroots' work isn't done. This particular gambit might have failed, but there will be more and we must be prepared to face them and push back. Many people–on both sides of the aisle and in the media as well–were surprised by the increasing power that you collectively exercised as a member of the netroots during the 2006 elections and they were threatened by it.

So let's give props to Edwards for some "outside the Beltway" thinking, but keep alert for any more Swiftboat attempts to derail Democratic campaigns.

I HATE this 2 year campaigning!!

----- UPDATE 2-12-07

David over at Orcinus has a great post where he gives the background of "holier-than-us-all" "Big Mouth" Bill Donohue.

Worth checking out at

Why, oh, why? Do these hate filled warts on society like him and Coulter, Malkin, et al get access to a microphone at all???

Friday, February 02, 2007

As if We Could Forget

Paul Krugman has a great tribute.

UPDATE: Maya Angelou wrote a wonderful article for Molly!

Kos is Waiting for Gore Too

by kos
Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 12:29:44 PM PST
One reason I'm not jumping aboard any 2008 bandwagons is that I'll wait as long as necessary to see if Gore will jump in. That's ultimately my guy this cycle. And even though I don't think he'll run, he's really got all the time in the world to make a final decision.

Gore was just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and while any schlub can get nominated, it's Gore's backers that make his bid impressive -- Conservative Member of the Norwegian Parliament Boerge Brende and Heidi Soerensen of the Socialist Left Party. It's rare trans-ideological support.

The prize will be announced in mid-October. So say Gore scores an Oscar and Nobel in the same year, he can announce in November and still become THE story in the primaries. It's not as if he'll need the full year to get his name recognition up or make the case for his candidacy. He would instantly raise gobs of cash (I'd bet on tens of millions in the first 24 hours) and become the media sensation of the winter. He would instantly make hundreds of millions spent by his primary opponents obsolete. Talent would flock to him, decimating the staffs of his opponents.

Heck, if done right, a serious "Draft Gore" movement could have the shell of an infrastructure in place for him to adopt.

That doesn't mean I'll be adding Gore to the straw polls or personally getting involved in a draft movement. This cycle I'm just an observer. And as noted, I doubt he'll pull the trigger. There's no need for him to do so. His passion is fighting global warming, not social security solvency or extracting ourselves from Bush's myriad messes.

But if the stars align properly, you never know.


This is EXACTLY what I've been thinking -- let all these wanna-bees wear themselves and us out proving how weak they are and Gore comes in just when we'll need him the most. No one should need 2 years to campaign -- even if talking heads like Chris Matthews are itching and begging for announcements since election day 2006. We the electorate don't need (or want!) 2 yers of campaigning and speculation. Only talking heads are anxious to change the subject from the GOP losses last year.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gore Get Nomination for Nobel

Al Gore has been nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on bringing attention to Global warming.

Now the question is which will be a better venue to announce his candidacy for President? Oslo at the Nobel awards? Or Hollywood when he picks up the Oscar?