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, August 28, 2008

Bubba Nailed it

Bill Clinton didn't fail. He was great last night. I loved his calling McCain an extremist -- we need to repeat and repeat that.

He had several great lines --
"They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm",
"Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States",
"Together, we prevailed in a campaign in which the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be Commander-in-Chief. Sound familiar? It didn't work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won't work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history."

I still love that man!

pix from AP

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary's Speech at the Convention

I'm not thrilled about her appearance as most everyone else. Yes, she said what she was supposed to but she didn't complete the circle to make the points stronger. She left doors open for misinterpretation. I didn't find it rousing or substantive. She was still too concerned with making her own case by giving the list of her concerns and actions. Like this highlight:
"I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

Couldn't she have completed the circle? Will some PUMAs feel that Obama can't or won't address those needs?

I give Hillary a "C".

Monday, August 25, 2008


A friend is in Denver (grrrr! Lucky dog!!). You can find his blog at Stew 4 Obama

Meanwhile -- Pundit Kitchen had a funny one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Won By A Landslide

The preliminary election results are in and I'm winning!

Precinct Committee Officer For a writ BIGELOW-107
Vote for One 1
Jane M. Johnson . . . . . . . . 97......96.04%
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 4......3.96%
Total . . . . . . . . . 101

Of course I was unopposed -- but HEY! A win is a win!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Richard Spertzel Has Compelling Argument

From the Wall Street Journal:

Bruce Ivins Wasn't the Anthrax Culprit

August 5, 2008

Over the past week the media was gripped by the news that the FBI was about to charge Bruce Ivins, a leading anthrax expert, as the man responsible for the anthrax letter attacks in September/October 2001.

But despite the seemingly powerful narrative that Ivins committed suicide because investigators were closing in, this is still far from a shut case. The FBI needs to explain why it zeroed in on Ivins, how he could have made the anthrax mailed to lawmakers and the media, and how he (or anyone else) could have pulled off the attacks, acting alone.

I believe this is another mistake in the investigation.

Let's start with the anthrax in the letters to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The spores could not have been produced at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, where Ivins worked, without many other people being aware of it. Furthermore, the equipment to make such a product does not exist at the institute.

Information released by the FBI over the past seven years indicates a product of exceptional quality. The product contained essentially pure spores. The particle size was 1.5 to 3 microns in diameter. There are several methods used to produce anthrax that small. But most of them require milling the spores to a size small enough that it can be inhaled into the lower reaches of the lungs. In this case, however, the anthrax spores were not milled.

What's more, they were also tailored to make them potentially more dangerous. According to a FBI news release from November 2001, the particles were coated by a "product not seen previously to be used in this fashion before." Apparently, the spores were coated with a polyglass which tightly bound hydrophilic silica to each particle. That's what was briefed (according to one of my former weapons inspectors at the United Nations Special Commission) by the FBI to the German Foreign Ministry at the time.

Another FBI leak indicated that each particle was given a weak electric charge, thereby causing the particles to repel each other at the molecular level. This made it easier for the spores to float in the air, and increased their retention in the lungs.

In short, the potential lethality of anthrax in this case far exceeds that of any powdered product found in the now extinct U.S. Biological Warfare Program. In meetings held on the cleanup of the anthrax spores in Washington, the product was described by an official at the Department of Homeland Security as "according to the Russian recipes" -- apparently referring to the use of the weak electric charge.

The latest line of speculation asserts that the anthrax's DNA, obtained from some of the victims, initially led investigators to the laboratory where Ivins worked. But the FBI stated a few years ago that a complete DNA analysis was not helpful in identifying what laboratory might have made the product.

Furthermore, the anthrax in this case, the "Ames strain," is one of the most common strains in the world. Early in the investigations, the FBI said it was similar to strains found in Haiti and Sri Lanka. The strain at the institute was isolated originally from an animal in west Texas and can be found from Texas to Montana following the old cattle trails. Samples of the strain were also supplied to at least eight laboratories including three foreign laboratories. Four French government laboratories reported on studies with the Ames strain, citing the Pasteur Institute in Paris as the source of the strain they used. Organism DNA is not a very reliable way to make a case against a scientist.

The FBI has not officially released information on why it focused on Ivins, and whether he was about to be charged or arrested. And when the FBI does release this information, we should all remember that the case needs to be firmly based on solid information that would conclusively prove that a lone scientist could make such a sophisticated product.

From what we know so far, Bruce Ivins, although potentially a brilliant scientist, was not that man. The multiple disciplines and technologies required to make the anthrax in this case do not exist at Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Inhalation studies are conducted at the institute, but they are done using liquid preparations, not powdered products.

The FBI spent between 12 and 18 months trying "to reverse engineer" (make a replica of) the anthrax in the letters sent to Messrs. Daschle and Leahy without success, according to FBI news releases. So why should federal investigators or the news media or the American public believe that a lone scientist would be able to do so?

Mr. Spertzel, head of the biological-weapons section of Unscom from 1994-99, was a member of the Iraq Survey Group.

What he doesn't say is that the anthrax attack was during that week when the WH was trying to rush through the Patriot Act without anyone reading it. Also, why have Bush and others in his administration repeatedly said we haven't had a terrorist attack in the US since 9-11? Something is fishy here.

UPDATE 8-7-08: Dave over at Orcinus found this report from 2002 which counterdicts most of the FBI's press conference. Glenn Greenwald has done his typical well-researched investigation on this subject too and comes up skeptical as well.

I'm so tired of being lied to by this administration.

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Monday, August 04, 2008


McCain and his "base," the media, keep bringing up Obama's comments about how 'he doesn't look like those other presidents on our currency' as crazy. They claim McCain never said anything like that!


It is exactly what McCain, himself, said in this ad. I am sick of these political tactics. And WHY is our media so blinded by this man and not calling him out on this?

The Brittney and Paris was shameful and a two-fer. Choosing young, blond female celebrities is integral to both the usual attempt to feminize the Democrat but at the same time it demonizes the black man after our white blond women. (By they way -- Paris' parents are huge contributors to his campaign -- how do they feel about you making fun of their daughter? If this is how you treat your biggest contributors, gawd help the rest of us!!) The repeated use by McCain and his minions all week of the word "presumptuous" was an obvious homonym for "uppity" which is code for "uppity-doesn't-know-his-place-nigger." This is coded racism and McCain has the MSM at his beck and call to ignore the messages.

So much for elevated campaigning. McCain is showing his true colors now and they are racist.

UPDATE: Kathy Hilton responds:
I've been asked again and again for my response to the now infamous McCain celebrity ad. I actually have three responses. It is a complete waste of the money John McCain's contributors have donated to his campaign. It is a complete waste of the country's time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs. And it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next President of the United States.

Smart lady!

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