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

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Letter to ABC "News"

ABC "News" should be ashamed of your performance at last night's "debate" -- it is obvious that your talents are better suited to hosting a humiliating game show. In case some politician is stupid enough to ever come on ABC again, please let me suggest some topics that are of immensely greater interest to us viewers:

Civil liberties and constraints on government surveillance
Declining housing values
Decline of American manufacturing
Decline of organized labor and the working class
Domestic financial crisis
Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
Global warming
Habeas Corpus
Health care
Supreme Court
Value of the US Dollar
World food crisis

We are not the idiots you think we are. Flag pins!!? Are you crazy?

ABC Debacle

The so called "Clinton vs Obama" "debate" was too painful to watch -- I turned it off. I am so ashamed of the MSM. To say 'we have to ask you these ridiculous, nonsense, non-material, no-issue questions because the Republicans will' is asinine! Why couldn't we have seen an issue oriented discussion instead of this 'rumble-in-the-democracy-birthplace' freak show?

I say we go back to the League of Women Votes holding these things and get rid of all these idiotic game show hosts.

HOW DARE STEPHANOPOULOS question the patriotism of a US Marine who signed up again after his tour in Korea, tended to President Johnson when he was recovering from surgery, held off his own education and goals to serve his country?!! Reverend Wright has done more for this country that idiot Stephanopoulos ever will.

Hunter over at Daily Kos is less hysterical than me and therefore says it better:
What a contrast. Only a few weeks ago, we were presented with what was considered by many to be a historic speech by a presidential candidate on race in America -- historic for its substance, tone, delivery, and stark candor. Last night, we had an opposing, equally historic example -- and I sincerely mean that, I consider it to be every bit as significant as that word implies -- of the collapse of the political press into self-willed incompetence. You might as well pull any half-intelligent person off the street, and they would unquestionably have more difficult and significant questions for the two candidates. It was not merely a momentarily bad performance, by ABC, it was a debate explicitly designed to be what it was, which is far more telling.
. . .
If a media organization set out to intentionally demonstrate themselves to be self absorbed and ignorant, they could not have accomplished it better. It was not just a tabloid debate, but the tittering of political kindergartners making and lobbing mud pies. It was politics as game show. The moderators demonstrated that to them and their supposed "news" organization, the presidency of the United States of America is about the trivialities of_politics_, which were obsessed over ravenously, not about the challenges of American governance, which were fully ignored.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

THANK YOU Chloe Marshall !!!

Chloe Marshall doesn't look like your average beauty queen. And she couldn't be happier about it.

The trainee beautician has become the first size 16 to make it to the finals of the Miss England contest.

Yesterday the 16-year-old beat a host of slimmer hopefuls to be named Miss Surrey, and hopes to win the national competition in July.

See more pictures at the Daily Mail.

Yeah!! An average woman!!! And she is BEAUTIFUL!! What a great role model for young girls!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

On Orange Juice, Bowling & the Elites

Robert Reich has a great post today that sums up what been going on in my brain:
...the American media have wallowed in it. Some, like Fox News and talk radio, have given the haters and blamers their very own megaphones. The rest have merely "reported on" it. Instead of focusing on how to get Americans good jobs again; instead of admitting too many of our schools are failing and our kids are falling behind their contemporaries in Europe, Japan, and even China; instead of showing why we need a more progressive tax system to finance better schools and access to health care, and green technologies that might create new manufacturing jobs, our national discussion has been mired in the old politics.
Bitter? You ain’t seen nothing yet....

When is the press going to GET IT! We don't care about this trivial stuff yet hours upon hours are wasted playing on an endless loop the bowling ball going into the gutter, Dame Hillary Got Rocks of Westchester calling Obama "I'm still paying off my student loans" an elite, etc.

Can we talk about torture and how it will change? Healthcare? Foreign relations? Economy? Education? According to Matthews, Russert, et al -- NO, Nothing is more important than the meaning of orange juice. GAWD! I'm so sick of our MSM!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


George Bush has made me sick a lot over many of his actions but there is nothing he's done that has upset me more than his ordering torture in my name. I am ashamed, mad, scared. Another blog set out the basic attempts to justify the use of torture are:
1. The Euphemism Gambit. The Torture Apologist has no better friend than the scare quote. Take any outrage against human dignity, stick it in scare quotes, and voila! You've suddenly announced that both the victim and the protestor against the outrage are faintly ridiculous bed-wetters we can all snicker at. So you write, for instance, "Some Defeatocrats who care more about terrorists than about the 3000 people we lost on 9/11 whine that waterboarding is "torture", but I think blah blah blah, etc." Also useful to the Euphemist is the Orwellian multi-syllabic word. Don't call it "strappado" or "the cold cell". That makes people think of the Spanish Inquisition or the terrifying basement of Stalin's Lubyanka. Call it "enhanced interrogation" (NOT "Verschärfte Vernehmung" even thought that means "enhanced interrogation"). That upbeat yet bland phrase makes people think "Our interrogation scientists in their clean white lab coats are making wonderful breakthroughs in the science of Keeping Us Safe!"
Case in point: Michelle Malkin
2. The "Appeal to the Extremely Hypothetical Extreme Situation" gambit (the Ticking Time Bomb, for instance).
Case in point: Alan Dershowitz
3. The "Pretend It's Impossible to Ever Know What Torture Is" gambit. This is done by saying, "Oh. I oppose torture, but could you please define for me *precisely* what torture is in a way that can never ever ever create the slightest semantic confusion in a forum of 2000 internet readers who are bound and determined to look for loopholes? I promise I am totally sincere!" In short, you pretend to be baffled about how to define torture for ever, reject all attempted definitions, refuse to offer your own, and then shrug that, much as you'd like to obey the Church, there's simply no way to know what torture is, so it's best to just maintain the status quo (which just happens to be that the Bush Administration can order the torture of anybody it deems an illegal combatant).
Perfect example: Michael Mukasey and here's a good YouTube
5. The "Human Rights are Only for *Legally Recognized* Human Beings" feint. This is a favorite for people who fancy themselves masters of international law. The argument is basically the same as Catholics for a Free Choice. Point to some loophole in human law and use it to trump the law of God. The Catholics for a Free Choice person says "I can't see where a fetus is a human being in the image and likeness of God in US law, so let's kill it!" The torture advocate says, "I can't see where an illegal combatant is a human being in the image and likeness of God in international *or* US law, so let's torture it!"
As defined by George Bush himself. Cheney and Rumsfeld also concur.
6. The "We Can Kill People in Wartime, So Why Can't We Torture Them Too?" maneuver. The key is to will yourself to be too stupid to recognize the difference between shooting somebody in combat and mowing helpless prisoners down with a machine gun. Once an enemy becomes a prisoner, you can't shoot him anymore because he possesses certain rights as a human being in the image of God. For the same reason, you can't torture him.
Tom Stephens wrote extensively about this
7. The "These Bastards Deserve Whatever They Get!" shout. While cathartic, what this line of emoting fails to attend to is that we have now departed the last shred of sanity in justifying torture and made clear that the purpose of torture is not "gathering intelligence" (it is notoriously bad for that) but working out our vengeance against and hatred of the enemy. That is one of the reasons the Church opposes it: it degrades us. The victim suffers the pains of this life, but we endanger our own souls with the everlasting pains of hell. In addition, it overlooks the fact that some of the people we have tortured did not, in fact, "deserve" it. 80% of the victims at Abu Ghraib had not been charged with anything. Maher Arar: perfectly innocent. Abdallah Higazy: innocent. Dilawar: innocent. So the result is very often that you lose your soul and get *nothing* in return. Or else you get bad intel like the "confessions" of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that sent us off on wild goose chases (confessions extracted after threatening to torture his *children*, by the way).
We saw Mitt Romney support this during the Republican YouTube debate
10. Also popular is the "So you're saying we should give the terrorists a kiss and a glass of warm milk and tuck them in at night!" This is a favorite straw man approach from people suffering from the bipolar notion that the only alternative to war crimes is delusional happy face pollyanna unreality. Such people forget that this is not the first war we've ever fought and that we do have a long experience of treating prisoners humanely without torturing them.
We know this because Cheney told us that the detainees are being treated better than they would be by any other government on the face of the earth.
11. This amnesia also accounts for another favorite rhetorical trope: The "9/11 Changed Everything" cry of Generation Narcissus. Being a Generation that fancies itself the summit of all human history, it is a generation that tends to talk as Never Before Have We Faced Such Evil. Therefore, war crimes are okay because it not like we're fighting pantywaists like Nazis and Communists. We are the grand exception to the general rule against war crimes because our enemies are uniquely, extra-special super-duper evil. Ours is a high and lonely destiny, etc. blah blah.
Again from VP Cheney

I'm sick of this. We have GOT to stop torturing and atone!

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Monday, April 07, 2008

St McCain

I'm not the greatest fan of Ed Schultz -- I figure he's a big enough fan of himself that he doesn't really need me. But why is he taking heat for calling McCain a "warmonger"? defines "warmonger" as:

a person who advocates war or warlike policies [syn: militarist]

Doesn't that describe McCain to a "T"?

McCain just spent a week travelling around the USA pointing out all the highlights of his life -- almost all of which were military connected. (Didn't he have any high points connected with his kids? Wife?) He says it would be fine to be in Iraq for 100 years. Jokes about bombing Iran. He says all this Middle Eastern strife is his real strength and expertise despite being unable to tell the difference between the different sides and his solution for every foreign policy problem has always been more troops.

But the poor man's sensibilities are offended when someone observes that he is a warmonger? Grow up!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Found a Soul Sister!

Melissa over at Shakespear Sister has a great post titled "Sometimes...":

I just close my eyes and pretend that the media still plays a useful role in the republic, the Democrats are a genuine and effective opposite party, our government isn't being sold piecemeal to corporations, our elections are fair, we've got universal healthcare, and Al Gore is really our president.

And sometimes I just close my eyes and pretend I'm making out with Al Gore.

But mostly the president thing.

Has she been peeking in my diary??


I Love Howard Dean

I'm tired of all this Dean-Bashing. The Democratic Convention is the DNC's party -- the DNC gets to make the rules and just because he won't break the rules and give someone an advantage, I think makes him a GREAT chaiman. If Hillary doesn't like Howard Dean then she should pull a Lieberman and create her own party -- but if she wants Democratic support, mailing lists, money, infrastructure -- she needs to respect the rules and respect Howard Dean.

Also, Florida Dems openly mocked Dean when they moved the date of their primary up but now they want him to fix it. Howard Dean and the DNC have been absolutley clear about the primary/caucus date rules since Fall. Again the Convention is a DNC party and the DNC gets to decide the rules of who gets to attend. Florida can't have it both ways -- flaunt the rules and then want some special dispensation. And Hillary can't sign a statement that she will respect the rules of the DNC and not campaign in Florida and Michigan and now whine and blame Obama and Dean.

I love and support Howard Dean. I think his 50-State Strategy is great and was long over due -- again Carville mocked Dean over this. I felt the primary season in effect started the night of the mid-term election with all the talking heads speculation and was proud that Howard Dean drew a line in the sand and said NO contests before Iowa and New Hampshire. I like Iowa and New Hampshire being first because if gives lesser connected and lesser financed candidates a chance to get their voices heard and mabe catch on and voices like John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich NEED to be heard.

I think I'll donate some money to the DNC today. How about you?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

DNC Will Seat Bloggers

Check it out at the Democratic Convention site.

Technorati Profile

UPDATE 5-29-08: Congratulations to Goldy over at HorsesAss -- He is the official DNC Washington State blogger. I'm GREEN with envy!