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, April 30, 2007

McCain Flip-Flop!? Nooo! It Couldn't Be!

So a year ago McCain supported Bush on the torture bill. The Boston Globe explained it this way:
Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, filed an amendment to a Defense Department bill explicitly saying that that the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees in US custody is illegal regardless of where they are held.

The White House tried hard to kill the McCain amendment. Cheney lobbied Congress to exempt the CIA from any interrogation limits, and Bush threatened to veto the bill, arguing that the executive branch has exclusive authority over war policy.

But after veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress approved it, Bush called a press conference with McCain, praised the measure, and said he would accept it.

''The whole point of the McCain Amendment was to close every loophole," said Marty Lederman, a Georgetown University law professor who served in the Justice Department from 1997 to 2002. ''The president has re-opened the loophole by asserting the constitutional authority to act in violation of the statute where it would assist in the war on terrorism."

And McCain stood there smiling as Bush took us down the torture path and didn't say anything. I can never forgive him for turning his back on what I would have thought was a core value and supporting torture.

But NOW McCain on Fox News claims he's always been against torture:
J. MCCAIN: A man I admire more than anyone else, General Jack Vessey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, battlefield commission, told me once — he said, "John, any intelligence information we might gain through the use of torture could never, ever counterbalance the image that it does — the damage that it does to our image in the world."

I agree with him. Look at the war in Algeria. Look, the fact is if you torture someone, they're going to tell you anything they think you want to know. It is an affront to everything we stand for and believe in.

It's interesting to me that every retired military officer, whether it be Colin Powell or whether it be former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — everybody who's been in war doesn't want to torture people and think that it's the wrong thing to do. And history shows that.

We cannot torture people and maintain our moral superiority in the world.

WALLACE: But when...

J. MCCAIN: And that's a fact.

WALLACE: But when George Tenet says...

J. MCCAIN: I don't care what George Tenet says. I know what's right. I know what's morally right as far as America's behavior.

So, Johnny, where were you when you might have made a difference a year ago? He could have been a leader and stopped Bush and his signing statements. He would have been a hero to both the right and the left but he swallowed his convictions, covered his eyes, and started shouting NAAA, NAAA, NAAA I CAN'T HEAR YOU! He lost a golden opportunity but decided to kiss the butt of Bush instead. I'll NEVER have any respect for him again. Straight talk express bull shit! These people make me vomit!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Another Report on that FDA Conference Call

Rick Pearlstein also participated with that FDA conference call and reports:
"I know this has sort of been asked," another reporter pleaded, but why can't the FDA tell people which four companies had taken delivery of poisoned pet food ingredients before Fido finds out the hard way? "Our efforts," came the response, "are limited to...finished products that might reach consumers on the shelves."

And there it was. Conservative "government" at work. When it comes to foreign policy, the Bush Administration has propounded a "one percent doctrine": Even if there's a one percent chance they represent a threat, a country should be invaded anyway. When it comes to pork products people might eat--wouldn't want to put a corporation at risk.

Thom Hartmann frequently says that when we put people who don't believe in government in charge of the government, they do their best to dismantle it. Thom believes that the Bush administration has been effective in their goals.

Remind me -- why are we not impeaching them?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mike Bloomberg "Hearts" Gore

NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a comment at a press conference yesterday and said great things about Al Gore:

Speaking with reporters afterward, Mr. Bloomberg spoke warmly about the former Vice President in a tone that seemed close to an endorsement.

“Al Gore has gone on to devoting his life to public service,” the mayor said. “He could be a model for all of us.”

Mr. Bloomberg continued: “People talk about Al Gore being a presidential candidate a lot more serious than they joke about me. This guy could be a presidential candidate. He certainly has experience. I’ve always been in favor of the public having more choice. I hope Al Gore enters the race; I think it would be good for the country.”

Hmmm. Is that an endorsement we want?


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Goldy Has Good Post on Pet Food Scandal

He connects the dots and shows how melamine has gotten into human food. He compares our policies to Canada and finds us poorly protected.

Meanwhile, little Dealer is sick and is going to the vet tomorrow. Say a prayer and wish good thoughts!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cool Video

More can be found at


Another Gore Article

Again -- Carville needs to shut the F--K UP!

Clinton team obsesses about Al Gore

In recent days, the Clintons and their high-ranking supporters have begun preempting any future announcement by Al Gore that he will enter the presidential race. If you look at what has been said this week, Bill Clinton and especially James Carville are daring him to throw his name into the hat. All of this was said on the same day. A coincidence? With the Clintons, not likely.

Thursday night on Larry King Live, Bill Clinton hinted that Gore might run:

" have got the prospect that vice president Gore might run."

That was apple sauce compared to what came out of Carville's mouth earlier that day at Tulane University:

"Gore will run again because, quoting George Will, running for president is like sex: 'You don't do it once and forget about it.'"

Barely any talk about the former Vice President up until this point, and then bam! You get Bill Clinton and James Carville, two of the most successful political strategists during the 1990s, bringing up Al Gore in the span of just a few hours. Coincidence? Or is there a possibility that the Clinton team is now in the process of game-planning for a Gore arrival into the presidential race?

To me, they appear to be daring Gore to get in. Politically speaking, if that did happen, John Edwards' presidential hopes would be toast. A lot of Edwards' support comes from online activists. Without the backing of some the top blogs, such as Kos, the former North Carolina Senator would have little infrastructure left standing.

Deep down, I know that some bloggers -- and I will include myself -- have a fantasy scenario of Gore declaring his candidacy in September, beating Clinton in the primaries, and then going on to win the general election. Not that I even want that to happen, or think it would be best for the party in the long run. In fact, I have yet to be convinced that Gore is electable. But there is that inner yearning for 2008 to end up how 2000 should have been.

I give it a 20% chance that Gore will enter the race. A lot of it depends on his Nobel Peace Prize, and whether the former Vice President can raise enough money in a matter of weeks. Either way, the buzz has the Clinton family worried, clearly bothered and strangely obsessed.

I disagree -- I think Gore will win if he runs and not only will it be great fot the Party but tgreat for the Country and Globe.


UK Telegraph Has Story About Possibility of Gore Running

Let me just quote it in it's glorious entirety:

Gore campaign team assembles in secret
By Tim Shipman in Washington, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 11:59pm BST 21/04/2007

Friends of Al Gore have secretly started assembling a campaign team in preparation for the former American vice-president to make a fresh bid for the White House.

Al Gore is third favourite for the Democratic nomination

Two members of Mr Gore's staff from his unsuccessful attempt in 2000 say they have been approached to see if they would be available to work with him again.

Mr Gore, President Bill Clinton's deputy, has said he wants to concentrate on publicising the need to combat climate change, a case made in his film, An Inconvenient Truth, which won him an Oscar this year.

But, aware that he may step into the wide open race for the White House, former strategists are sounding out a shadow team that could run his campaign at short notice. In approaching former campaign staff, including political strategists and communications officials, they are making clear they are not acting on formal instructions from Mr Gore, 59, but have not been asked to stop.

His denials of interest in the presidency have been couched in terms of "no plans" or "no intention" - politically ambiguous language that does not rule out a run.

One of his former campaign team said: "I was asked whether I would be available towards the end of the year if I am needed. They know he has not ruled out running and if he decides to jump in, he will have to move very fast.

In an interview on Thursday, which touched on the prospects for next year's presidential election, Mr Clinton commented: "You've got the prospect that Vice-President Gore might run."

The most recent opinion polls show Mr Gore as third favourite to take the Democratic nomination, on about 17 per cent support, only a whisker behind Barack Obama, 45, who is aiming to become the first black US president, and ahead of John Edwards, 53, the senator whose wife was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Vice-President Gore's allies believe that Hillary Clinton, 59, the frontrunner, is unable to win the presidency. The most recent poll shows a growing number of voters think negatively of her, in contrast to Mr Gore, who enjoys far greater popularity than when he lost the 2000 presidential race despite polling more votes nationally than the eventual winner, George W Bush.

The second aide approached by Vice-President Gore's allies said: "There is no love lost between Gore and Hillary. They don't think she can win and they're probably right. If Gore runs, he's got a really good chance of getting the nomination. And he has a good chance of pulling off the election, too."

Gore-watchers believe that a new book he is publishing next month on the state of US politics will keep his name in the public eye. Many of his supporters helped to run the unsuccessful presidential campaign of John Kerry in 2004. But since Sen Kerry abandoned his presidential aspirations this year, many of his leading advisers have yet to align themselves with any of the other candidates.

They were expected to join the campaign of Sen Edwards, who was Sen Kerry's running mate last time.

The former aide, who has himself signed up with Sen Edwards, said: "The question is: where have all the Kerry people gone? The answer for most of them is nowhere. Now ask yourself why."

Among the senior officials not yet committed is Michael Whouley, who was national field director for the successful Clinton-Gore 1992 presidential campaign, national campaign manager for Mr Gore when he stood for re-election as vice-president in 1996, and then a senior adviser to Mr Gore in 2000.

Considered one of the most talented Democratic "ground war" experts, he masterminded John Kerry's political resurrection in the New Hampshire presidential primary three years ago, putting him on course for the nomination. Last year, he oversaw the Democratic victory in the mid-term elections.

Two months ago, a former Gore aide, Elaine Kamarck, convened a group of former aides in Boston to consider the possibilities of a Gore campaign.

James Carville, President Clinton's former strategy chief, suggested last week that Mr Gore, who has piled on the pounds, could shed weight over the summer to make himself more media-friendly for a White House run.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he lost 15lb or so," said Mr Carville. "And I think if people thought he could get us out of the mess we're in with Iraq, they wouldn't care how fat he is."

A poll of leading Democratic and Republican strategists found that one in four thought Mr Gore would emerge a strong contender. "He already has emerged - he just has to announce," a Democrat told the magazine Opinion Journal.

A Republican said: "Gore could be the toughest Democrat to beat."

At least eight websites are campaigning to "Draft Gore" into the election. More than 70,000 people have signed an online petition, and more than 120 groups of Gore supporters meet each month around the country to promote the case for a Gore presidency. One website offers the chance to download a song called Run Al, Run!

But again his weight is used as an indicator -- ARGH! Carville should just crawl under that rock with his wife and shut his mouth. He's proven himself clueless too many times to be getting quoted again.


NOW They've Gone TOO FAR!!!!

. . . if some members of the U.S. Chocolate Industry have their way, it will negatively change the quality of chocolate you love. Their plan is to change the basic formula of chocolate in order to use vegetable fat substitutes in place of cocoa butter, and to use milk substitutes in the place of nutritionally superior milk. These changes will have adverse effects on the eating, physical and nutritional quality of chocolate,


They want to mess with my chocolate!!! IMPEACHMENT IMMEDIATELY!!!


We can make a difference. Don't let Hershey and Nestles be the only voice they hear. Submit an on-line comment to the FDA and warn them NOT to MESS with our CHOCOLATE!!

I can't believe they atack our right to choose and chocolate in the same week. They are pushing us to the edge!

Our Michigan "Draft Gore" Cousins Make the News

(Gore Petitioners) Seen and heard during the president’s visit to Grand Rapids
Jim Harger and Dave Murray, The Grand Rapids Press, April 21, 2007

Using Bush visit for debate fodder

Michael Blauw came to President Bush's speech hoping to gain an edge in a national competition. Blauw, a 16-year-old sophomore, is one of 18 people on East Grand Rapids High School 's We The People Team, which debates constitutional issues. The team won the state competition in January and next week represents Michigan in Washington , D.C.

"We're really hoping for something we can use in the competition," Blauw said before the speech. "I don't think too many teams are getting an audience with the president of the United States the week before."

Gore in 2008?

East Lansing resident Bob Alexander saw opportunity among the protesters who lined up along Lakeside Drive SE. He's the state co-director of "Volunteers to Draft Al Gore 2008." He reported getting 238 signatures for his petition.
Gore in 2008?



Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tainted Pet Food Is Part of Larger Problem

Brilliant at Breakfast does a great job explaining the larger implications of the tainted pet food crisis. As he explains, it is already in our food:

learned yesterday that melamine-contaminated feed was fed to hogs.The FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture are investigating.

Some animals that are believed to have eaten the contaminated food were slaughtered and sold as food before authorities learned their feed had been contaminated, said Nancy Lungren, spokeswoman for the California agriculture department

Brilliant discovers that the way this happened was that the hog farmer fed his hogs salvage pet food from Diamond Pet Foods Inc.

Get that? Salvage pet food!! They recalled the companion pet food and then fed it to our livestock!

WTF is wrong with the FDA that they let this happen???

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

WHOA!!! Dossiers?? Where's the Outrage?

Not only does it appear that the Government has set up dossiers on our prescription drug use but MSM is using it as a news source. What in the unholy name of Stalin is going on here!?? Where is the outrage!?

Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of such medication in the government's files. This does not completely rule out prescription drug use, including samples from a physician, drugs obtained through illegal Internet sources, or a gap in the federal database, but the sources say theirs is a reasonably complete search.

From 2005:
President Bush signed into law a bill to create electronic monitoring programs to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs in all 50 states.
The new law creates a grant program for states to create databases and enhance existing ones in hopes of ending the practice of "doctor shopping" by drug abusers seeking multiple prescriptions. It would authorize $60 million for the program through fiscal 2010.
The bill, signed late Thursday at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch, was sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican representing Kentucky's 1st District.

Note nothing was said about other uses for the database – nothing about it being a Federal database -- nothing about eviscerating more of our privacy rights. And it's available to ABC to use as a database for a news story? Doesn’t anyone notice how our rights are being whittled away? Are we not paying attention or does everyone else just not care?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Just a reminder on this day when the Supremes determined that Congress is smarter than a woman's doctor and Congress should dictate the TYPE of medical treatments women can receive --

Cantwell was one of the Senators who VOTED NOT to filibuster Alito in January 2006 and we now have him joining this awful majority opinion.

Thank you Maria Cantwell for selling women out. We sure didn't send you to DC to do anything that might be difficult.

Hurrah for Justice Ginsberg:
Ginsburg, in a lengthy statement, said "the Court's opinion tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception protecting a woman's health." She said the federal ban "and the Court's defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court -- and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives. A decision of the character the Court makes today should not have staying power."

From Ginsberg's lips to God's ears . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dana Carvey "Hearts" Gore

Dana Carvey says he supports Gore as the next President on the 4/13/07 Bill Maher show.


What's Happened to Our Vocabulary?

It seems more and more I’m noticing inappropriate extreme vocabulary being used especially when it applies to the news. refers to Governor Jon Corzine's condition as "critical". Fortunately, a statement buried in the article indicated that there was nothing life-threatening about his condition.

Paula Zahn doesn’t have an ‘exclusive” interview with Al Sharpton.

Tom DeLay says to Rosie O'Donnell: “We're gonna destroy you!” and refers to liberals as “Nazi’s”.

These people need to get a dictionary.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Here's a Story That is Sure to Get Lost

The Bush administration released it's long awaited report on the effectiveness of abstinence only sex education -- quietly, no press release, on an obscure web site. You'll find it at -- all 164 pages.

Here's a summary:
“After 10 years and $1.5 billion in public funds these failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs will go down as an ideological boondoggle of historic proportions,” said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth.

The tragedy is not simply the waste of taxpayer dollars, it is the damage done to the young people who have been on the receiving end of distorted, inaccurate information about condoms and birth control. We have been promoting ignorance in the era of AIDS, and that’s not just bad public health policy, its bad ethics

“This report should serve as the final verdict on the failure of the abstinence-only industry in this country,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). “It shows, once again, that these programs fail miserably in actually helping young people behave more responsibly when it comes to their sexuality,” Smith continued.

In 1996, the federal government attached a provision to the welfare reform law establishing a federal program for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. This program, Section 510(b) of Title V of the Social Security Act, dedicated $50 million per year to be distributed among states that choose to participate. States accepting the funds are required to match every four federal dollars with three state-raised dollars (for a total of $87.5 million annually, and $787.5 million for the eight years from fiscal year 1998 through 2006). Programs that receive the Title V funding are prohibited from discussing methods of contraception, including condoms, except in the context of failure rates. . . .



Thursday, April 12, 2007

EEK! Can THIS be True???

Hope ... hope ... hope ...

Gore to Announce for President EXCLUSIVE

He’s tanned, restless, and ready. Insiders at Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection tell Lost Nation TV that the former vice president and Oscar winner will announce his candidacy for president sometime between August 18th and 21st. You heard it here first.

Gore formed the alliance to bring the climate change issue to "NASCAR fans, churchgoers, labor-union members, small businessmen, engineers, hunters, sportsmen, corporate leaders, you name it."

Add to that coalition the hard-core greens, anti-war voters, and those who think he got just plain screwed in 2000 when the Bush coup stole the election from him, and you have a formidable campaign brewing.

Gore has the financial wherewithal to self-finance a nascent candidacy – at least until the grassroots and money-bags sense the inevitable and flock to him.

Even as a non-candidate, Gore polls among the top-tier Democrats for president. When he announces, he’ll breathe life into the 2008 election where the frontrunner carries baggage from the past, and her closest competition is a charismatic, but untested new-comer.


GREAT Al Gore Website!!

This site covers all the issues and makes it easy to compare Vice President (soon to be President!) Al Gore to the other candidates.

Don't miss it!


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sacramento Bee says CA "Hearts" Gore

From an article by Dan Smith - Bee Capitol Bureau Chief:
Former Vice President and 2000 party nominee Al Gore, who has waved off speculation that he may run again -- but has not ruled it out entirely -- pulled to within a handful of percentage points of Clinton when pollsters added his name to the mix.

"He is formidable in California," said Mark DiCamillo, Field Poll director. "He makes it a very close race."

The poll found Clinton with a comfortable 13-point head start over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 41 percent to 28 percent, with former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards lagging at 13 percent.

But when Gore's name was offered as an alternative, Clinton's support dropped 10 points to 31 percent, followed by Gore's 25 percent and Obama's 21 percent. Edwards fell to 8 percent.

He also noted: "Gore boasted the highest favorable rating -- 85 percent -- among the four top Democrats in the poll".



Hillary Fears Gore

According to Dan Gerstein
Team Hillary is less threatened by Obama than by the ossible entry of Al Gore into the race.

That's the real reason why the putative frontrunner's strategy has been geared toward bulldozing the field early on -- to scare Gore off.

And that's why, under this theory, Obama's early money might is so problematic for Hillary. The more strength Obama shows, the weaker she looks. And the muddier the race gets, the more inviting it is to Gore.



Dog Food

Those of you who know me know my dogs are really important to me. This dog food recall of course concerned me -- I switched dog food, notified all my friends with dogs, gave my local Safeway the recall list since they were slow taking action (unlike Fred Meyer who took action immediately!) -- the news coverage seemed so limited. To be honest, the tin-foil-hat-conspiracy-theorist in me wondered if this was a terrorist attack on the US -- but I dismissed it and went on.

My fellow bloggers are investigating and doing a great job getting to the bigger story. See Itchmo , Dave Goldstein , Socko's Brain, and the gang at Pet Connections. They are doing GREAT investigative work on this issue. They even have gotten Senator Durbin to promise to conduct a hearing.

Here's some of the scary points they have uncovered: The Wheat Glutten came supposedly from China was graded for human consumption by the FDA. The FDA and Menu Foods knew about the problem for weeks and didn't think a public alert was necessary. FDA has failed to do a full investigation to see if any of the tainted grain has gotten into the human food chain but continues to make statements that it hasn't (this reminds me of when the EPA failed to do any air quality testing but announced that the air at Ground Zero after 9-11 was safe).

Here's Pet Connection's take:
The White House loves to use Fear when it serves their purpose. But when it effects a corporation's bottom line it's profits first, poodles last.

- The FDA didn't reveal the identity of the manufacturers of the wheat gluten until a blogger at Pet Connection found it. Why?

- The FDA didn't reveal the name of the US distributor of the gluten until the AP got it from another source. Why?

- The FDA hasn't required the US distributor of the wheat gluten to reveal to the public everyone they sold it to. Why not?

- The Chinese company the FDA identified as the sole source of the tainted wheat gluten, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology said they sold it to other companies. Who are they? Who did they sell it to?

- There is disagreement between university labs and FDA labs on the nature of the contaminate. What is that about?

This is classic "The Public has a right to know" information. Do I know for a fact that the FDA is getting pressure to drag their feet and not reveal info? No. But I do know that the critical information about this story has been dug out by concerned pet owner/bloggers and the good journalists like Andrew Bridges at the AP.

3,168 dead pets. This is NOT "Nothing to see here, move along."
Pay attention folks. Follow the money. Pay attention to the players.

UPDATE 4-8-07

Pet Connection calls it straight after a CBS reporter whines that we shouldn't be concerned about just 12 dead animals (I'm impressed he had the time to whine between his Anna Nichole Smith and Brittney shaving her head coverage!:

No one’s denying the need for honest reporting on the war in Iraq, and I can’t imagine a person who doesn’t care about the sacrifices of our fellow citizens there, or indeed about the suffering of the Iraqis who are living and dying in a war zone. But with all due respect, this is not about 12 pets (which even the FDA says there’s more than that now, although they say they’re too busy investigating to say how many more.) . . .

This isn’t about 12, 14, 16 dead pets — or even, if you extrapolate from numbers such as Oregon’s, Michigan’s, Banfield’s, the Animal Medical Center, the Veterinary Information Network or even ours, hundreds or thousands dead. (The FDA has some 12,000 complaints to investigate, more than double in a month their two-year load on all other complaints combined. . .

This is about our happenstance discovery of a vulnerability in our overall food-safety system, one that we’re fortunate to have found and to have a chance to fix before something else even bigger happens, either by accident (which this pet-food disaster may well surely end up being) or on purpose (at the hands of America’s enemies).

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Monday, April 02, 2007

So Much for the Constitution

Number 1 and number 3 of the GOP presidential hopefuls just tossed out the Consistution. The National Review (I know, I know -- but I don't make a habit of it!) reported:

Romney on Enemy Combatants [Ramesh Ponnuru]

Crane says he was disappointed with Romney's answer to his question the other night. Crane asked if Romney believed the president should have the authority to arrest U.S. citizens with no review. Romney said he would want to hear the pros and cons from smart lawyers before he made up his mind. Crane said that he had asked Giuliani the same question a few weeks ago. The mayor said that he would want to use this authority infrequently.

If either of these yahoos win, let's be honest this time and forget the swearing in "protect and defend the Constitution" part and substitute something more achievable -- like "protect and defend my friends' profits".