Thursday, May 31, 2007

News Media Not Picking Up on Snow's Iraq-South Korea Comparison

Yesterday we posted an entry about Tony Snow's comments at a press briefing comparing Iraq to South Korea and stating that Bubble-Boy sees American troops in Iraq much as they are in South Korea. That is a very significant comparison. We have been in South Korea for over 50 years and we have a mutual defense pact with the South Koreans. If you take the South Korean model to its logical extreme, we end up with thousands of American troops stationed in Iraq and we have a mutual defense pact to protect Iraq from attack by its neighbors, presumably Iran.

All this, of course, without any debate so far in America as to whether the American people want this kind of commitment. The Bush Administration has never told the American people until yesterday, over four years after the overthrow of Hussein, that it sees our role in Iraq as being similar to our role in South Korea. If Bush had told the American people in 2003 that the overthrow of Hussein would cost this country over 3000 American military lives, over 500 billion dollars, and then would be followed by a potential 50 year commitment to Iraq, the American people would have demanded that the war not take place.

One reason why the American people were tricked into supporting this war is because the true nature of the threat was kept from them. One reason why it was kept from them was because the American news media didn't do its job and didn't ask the tough questions of Bush and his administration.

Today, May 31, 2007, a Google search of news media showed only 117 entries for the terms "Tony Snow Iraq South Korea". Now, we realize that these remarks were made less than 24 hours ago. but the fact that there is relatively few media outlets picking up on them is disconcerting. We simply cannot allow this administration to take the United States into such an open-ended commitment without pubic debate.

For an interesting take on the background for Snow's remarks and what it could mean for the future, click on the link in this entry's title.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bush Sees U.S. in Iraq for Next 50 Years.

One of the charges lodged against Bush and Cheney is that they invaded Iraq as a way to secure American domination of the Iraqi oil fields. The dwindling supporters of Bubble-Boy's folly react to this charge with rightous indignation. "No,no," they cry, "America is not interested in oil, America is interested in finding weapons of mass destruction/overthrowing a bloody dictator/establishing democracy in the Middle East/whatever reason you like, but we are not interested in Iraq's oil." Then you get stories like the following.

Tony Snow today said that Bush saw Iraq being like South Korea, where American troops are there to guarantee Iraq's security, but not necessarily at the front. Well, here is the problem, the United States has been in South Korea for over 50 years, that's right, over 50 years. This means that Bush sees American involvement in Iraq for the better part of this century, or long after he, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are dead and gone.

What earthly reason could there be for American troops to be in Iraq for 50 years unless it is to make sure that America controls the oil fields of the Middle East? Having American troops in Iraq means that we have influence over the Saudis, the Iraqis, and the Iranians. All countries that have vast oil fields.

Of course, it also means that America will be the target of terrorist attacks for the foreseeable future. Contrary to what Bush likes to say, terrorist attacks have their own form of twisted logic. That logic is that terrorist attacks are almost always over the occupation of land by a power that the terrorists see as ill legitimate. What the terrorists want is that occupation to end and acts of terror is how they plan to accomplish that ending.

American troops in Iraq will be seen by many as an occupation and will become a magnet for terrorism. Groups like Al Qaeda will use their presence to rev up their followers and to justify new attacks on America. It will not necessarily be a situation like South Korea where the populace accepts American troops as necessary to protect it from invasion by the North Koreans.*

If the Bush Administration truly sees American troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future then obviously the idea that September will be some magic moment when Bush realizes that he needs to start getting America out of Iraq is just a ruse. A ruse with tragic consequences for American soldiers.

*South Korean acceptance of American troops seems to be increasingly a reluctant acceptance and this from a population which still remembers the invasion from the North in 1950. You can read the whole article about Snow's comments by clicking on the link in this entry's title.

Myerson Column in Washington Post Makes a Great Point

Harold Myerson had a column in the Wednesday, May 30, 2007 edition of the Washington Post called "Dying for an Iraq that Isn't". The point of the column, which can be read by clicking on the link in this entry's title, is that American policy assumes that there is a non-sectarian government in Iraq which Iraqis will support. He points out that such a government simply doesn't exist. The reason why it doesn't exist is that the Iraqis themselves don't seem to want such a government. Myerson points out that in the elections in 2005 the political party that ran on a platform of a non-sectarian Iraqi government got 8% of the vote.

The presence of American troops in Iraq is not what makes Iraqis kill each other. They kill each other because they are caught up in a sectarian war pitting Sunnis against Shias, and maybe both against the Kurds. What is the role of American troops in such a situation? What side are we supposed to be helping? American lives are too precious, and too few, to waste because the American military is acting like some kind of armed referee.

Maybe Joe Biden has the best idea: create three fairly autonomous regions in Iraq and let Iraqis group together as Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish Muslims. Recognize that we can't change the culture of Iraq, only Iraqis can do that. Give the Iraqis some of that "tough love" that GOP types are always talking about.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is There a Unwritten Rule for Media that "Liberal" Commentators Must See Both Sides While "Conservative" Commentators Are Allowed to See Only One?

You have seen it time and time again with "talking heads" on cable and broadcast shows. The conservative on the show is rude, totally fixated on getting his or her points across, while the show's token liberal is some person who is quick to see "both sides" of an issue. So you get commentatory from the conservative how great Bush is while the liberal says things like "well, I can see why you think he is great, and he has done some good things, but, all in all, I think he is not as great as you think" or some other bs like that. Which leads us to this question: is it because of the personalities involved or is it a intentional choice made by the producers of the show?

And you don't just see this in TV shows. You see it in print media, too. Take the Washington Post. Their two liberals, Richard Cohen and E.J. Dionne, aren't nearly as partisan as Robert Novak by himself. Robert Novack has never seen a Republican do a bad thing in his life, unless it is to try and reach out to Democrats or, heaven forbid, suggest that income tax cuts aren't needed. Meanwhile, Cohen and Dionne are bending over backwards to show how fair they are to Republicans.

We want to know why TV shows and papers can't have fire-breathing liberals on to balance the fire-breathing conservatives. Surely there are liberals and progressives who can match the intensity of people like Novak. So why aren't they getting airtime? Is it "them", TV producers and publishers, or is it "us", liberals and progressives?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Are People "Hard-Wired" for Political Views?

Melinda Wenner wrote an articlethat appeared on in which she reported on a study that suggests that there is some genetic predisposition for political philosophy. Here is a quote from her article:

People who are more conscientious and prefer order, structure and closure in their lives tend to be more conservative, whereas creative people who are open to new experiences tend to be more politically liberal, says John Jost, a psychologist at New York University who conducted an overview of previous studies involving a total of more than 22,000 participants from 12 countries.

The article points out that one psychologist believes that environmental factors or situations that people encounter in their lives determines approximately one-half of political preferences. Approximately 40-50% seems to be based in genetics, not so much that people are genetically inclined to be liberal or conservative, but that they are genetically inclined to have certain values or react to situations in a particular way.

This interplay of genetics and experience might explain why there are "conservative" Democrats and "liberal" Republicans. Their experiences lead them in one direction, while their genetic make-up leads them in a different direction.

Should Governor Strickland Have Vetoed the Stripper Bill?

The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an editorial criticizing Governor Strickland for allowing the stripper bill to become law without his signature. The editorial appeared in the Monday, May 28, 2007 edition of the Plain Dealer. Although Strickland said that he would have voted against the bill if he had been in the General Assembly, he wasn't going to veto it.

The PD feels otherwise. Jill of Writes Like She Talks agrees with the PD. She points out in one of her blog entries that Ohio will have to spend taxpayer dollars defending a bill in the Federal Courts that will most likely be struck down as unconstitutional. The issue of attorney fees isn't, by the way, a small matter. If a person brings a lawsuit under 42 USC 1983 because his or her civil rights have been violated, they are entitled to attorney fees if successful.

The counter-argument in favor of Strickland's veto would be that he needs to have some co-operation with the General Assembly and fighting over this bill, a fight that he probably won't win, is simply not worth it. It is very possible that Strickland and the General Assembly could be heading for some fights over potential Strickland line item vetoes in the state's budget bill. The question is whether such political capital, to use a term our President is fond of, should be used in this fashion.

One thing that Strickland has going for him is that voters, so far, approve of his performance in office. His popularity is going to go down over the next several months. If he is constantly seen as vetoing legislation passed by the General Assembly, especially if he is not upheld in that veto, he could be seen as weak and ineffectual.

We are interested in your opinion, please tell us what you think by leaving a comment on this entry.

Cross-posted at

Did Kerry Vote for War Because of Political Considerations?

Bob Schrum, the consultant who managed the Kerry campaign in 2004, and who has managed to lose every presidential campaign he has been involved in, is publishing his memoirs. In his memoirs, according to this Boston Globe article, he writes that Kerry was skeptical of Bush and didn't want to vote for the resolution authorizing military force. According to Schrum, he was talked into by Jim Jordan, his former press secretary and his campaign manager in the early part of the 04 campaign.

This whole story, if true, illustrates the problem with listening to others when considering what you stand for and what you support and don't support. Obviously Kerry's instincts about Bush and the war vote were accurate. He was right to be skeptical. He was wrong, however, to let Jordan talk him into doing anything he didn't think should be done. If he had voted his conscience instead of Jordan's advice, he might be president today because he would have presented a lot clearer message on the war.

Years ago there was a advertising executive who worked on Republican presidential and state campaigns. He said that when he first got into consulting candidates would come to him and say, "This is what I believe. I want you help me get elected." Then he said that candidates started coming to him and said, "What do I need to believe to get elected?" He said that was when he got out of doing political campaigns.

Such candidates are not only found on the Republican side as the Globe article shows. Too many Democratic candidates and Democratic consultants are in politics because they want to be "in politics" not because there are certain things they want to accomplish or certain ideas they want to promote. Apparently John Kerry is one of those candidates. Kerry didn't deserve to be president, but the we certainly didn't deserve to have George W. Bush re-elected president.

Check out PD Article on Maryland's Funding of Public Education

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has an article in the Monday, May 28, 2007, edition about how Maryland funds public education. Maryland's approach to school funding is a model for the approach being taken by groups which are supporting an Ohio ballot initiative this fall. The approach is described in the article as follows:

The Ohio amendment would charge the State Board of Education with deciding the components and cost of a high-quality education. The legislature and the governor then would be required to find a way to pay for it.

In contrast, Ohio now sets aside an amount of money for schools based on available revenue rather than determining what is needed. The state share is combined with a local share that mostly comes from property taxes. It's a system in which districts with eroding tax bases can be left in the lurch. Even districts in affluent communities are forced to ask voters to raise property taxes every few years to maintain their funding levels.

One thing that Ohio has lacked, according to the proponents of this plan, is any idea on how much a child's education should cost. Given the fact that Ohio now requires students to pass proficiency tests to graduate, and given the fact that the material those tests cover is state mandated, it shouldn't be hard for the state to figure out what would be the cost of providing an education to make sure a child learns the mandated material. So far, though, Ohio's state government has rejected such an approach.

What's interesting about Ohio's approach is that the state government under Republican rule has had no hesitation in telling local school districts what material they should teach. Nor has the General Assembly had any problems with telling children that if they don't learn what the state believes they should learn, then they can't graduate. The state has, however, hesitated in telling educators, parents, and children what the cost is per child of providing an education that will allow children to meet state-required proficiency standards.

Here is the bottom line: if the state is going to require a certain level of proficiency from its students before they can get a diploma, then it is only fair that the state make sure that each child's school district have the resources to provide that level of education. It is impossible for parents to know whether the state is providing such resources unless they know the cost of such resources. No matter what solution is found for funding education in Ohio, the first step should be ascertaining the cost of providing an education to allow children to meet the state's proficiency standards. If Maryland can do it, why can't Ohio?

Cross-posted at

Sunday, May 27, 2007

No Surprise: Republican Front-Runners Lying about Terrorism

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read an article that appeared in the Boston Globe on Sunday, May 27, 2007 and which can be read at The thrust of the article is that Republican front-runners for the 2008 Republican nomination are lying about links between the war in Iraq and terrorists, especially Al Qaeda. This is not surprising since the Bush Administration used language to suggest such a link in the run-up to this war.

Now, why were the Bushies able to get away with it? Well, boys and girls, it was because the news media, and especially TV network news, never called them on it. They allowed the President, the Vice-President, and the then National Security Advisor to imply to the American people that such links existed.

An example is this quote from the Globe article about Bush linking Hussein to terrorism:

Bush, for instance, repeatedly spoke of Hussein's support for terrorism -- which many Americans apparently took to mean that Hussein supported Al Qaeda in its jihad against the United States. The administration, however, sourced that claim to Hussein's backing of Palestinian terrorist groups targeting Israel.

Do you ever remember any mainstream media, especially television reporters, every calling Bush on this kind of claim? We don't and we imagine that most of our readers don't either.

It was also effective as this quote, also from the Globe article, shows:

The belief that there is a clear connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks has been a key determinant of support for the war. A Harris poll taken two weeks before the 2004 presidential election found that a majority of Bush's supporters believed that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks -- a claim that Bush has never made. Eighty-four percent believed that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had "strong links" with Al Qaeda, a claim that intelligence officials have long disputed.

So, they are doing it because it works and because they have nothing else. They can't talk about the economy since America is bleeding jobs at an ever increasing rate. They can't talk about effective management of government because of Hurricane Katrina. They can't talk about success in Iraq because it has been, and will continue to be, a hole in the sand in which we are pouring lives and treasure. They can talk about cutting taxes, but that only benefits a relative few number of voters. What do they have left? Fear and loathing. The two standbys in the Republican political operatives playbooks when all else fails. Get ready for one long venomous political year.

Bush's Problems With Lawyers

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read an article in Newsweek about Monica Goodling and Alberto Gonzales. In that article is a fuller description of the confrontation between Ashcroft, Gonzales and Card over the Justice Department's refusal to sign-off on certain surveillance tactics being used by the Bush Administration.

One thing that a lot of people don't know about George W. is that while he was able to get into the Harvard Business School, it was not his first choice for a graduate school. He also applied to the University of Texas's law school. That school refused to admit him and its Dean suggested that he would not be happy as a lawyer.

Now, here is a question to consider: does W's failure to get into law school help explain the contempt that he has for lawyers and for the law? He has made a lot of political points taking shots at trial lawyers. He has tried to politicize the Justice Department. He has installed a hack yes-man as United States Attorney General. He has disregarded laws he doesn't like and when he signs a law that he disagrees with often issues a "signing statement" indicating that his administration has no intention of following the law.

All of these acts are evidence of the disdain that he has for lawyers and for the law as a profession. Now a lot of business people don't like lawyers. Lawyers are often the people who screw up a deal by insisting on language in contracts that complicates a contract. Corporations see lawyers as people who sue them and insist on exposing the way they do business. So this attitude of W's is not surprising, but he is not any business school graduate. He is a person who runs the Executive branch of the United States government which, by the way, carries out its function by using laws.

Given his background, it is fair to ask whether we are now stuck with Gonzales as AG because the University of Texas's law school wouldn't let him in. Maybe a lot of this stuff could have been avoided if they would just have let W come to school and not insisted that he be qualified.

More Evidence that Bushies are Idiots

If you click here, you can read an article from that contains more examples of how the Bush Administration's insistence on governmental employees having a certain point of view led to the mess in Iraq.

Like when Douglas Feith rejected an applicant for a job as head of a special operations unit in the Pentagon. The applicant was Patrick Lang, who had been in "charge of the Middle East, South Asia and terrorism for the Defense Intelligence Agency in the 1990s. Later he ran the Pentagon’s worldwide spying operations." Lang had also been a Green Beret who had served three tours in South Vietnam. Now, you think that Feith would want a guy like Lang, but you would be wrong. Lang was apparently rejected by Feith because, wait for it, he spoke Arabic.

Only in the Bush Administration would a person be rejected for a job because that person knew too much about the area in which he or she might be serving. Apparently Feith believed that if a person actually spoke Arabic, then he might be too close to the Arabs and wouldn't back the neo-con's plan to bring a new age of enlightenment to the Middle East.

The article also points out how Lang had discussed Iraq with Wolfowitz before the war. He told Wolfowitz that after the overthrow of Hussein there would be a massive insurgency and resistance to the American military. Wolfowitz insisted that he was wrong and that our invasion of Iraq would start a successful transformation to democracy in the region. We all know how well that worked out.

Of course, given the media's fascination with the personal qualities of politicians and not their competence, this kind of tragedy could happen again. We could elect another anti-intellectual person as President who would staff an administration with ideologically driven boobs. Maybe though in 2008 American voters will be insisting on competence. We can only hope.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

MCDAC's Free Advice to Rudy Giuliani on Divorced Parent Etiquette

Okay, so Rudy "The Political Transvestite" Giuliani shows up at his daughter's graduation with his new wife. He arrives right before the ceremony begins and leaves 10 minutes before it ends. In the process he manages to avoid talking to his daughter and apparently doesn't clap for her when she crosses the stage. Obviously the chill between the PT and his kids continues. So we are going to give the PT some unsolicited advice about kids and divorced parents.

1. Never, ever bring the woman you committed adultery with to an event for your kids when they know their Mom is going to be there. It puts them in a really uncomfortable situation.

2. When you have publicly humiliated their Mom, don't expect your kids to forgive you and embrace the new wife.

3. When you are the parent who is seen as causing the divorce, be prepared for your children to be mad at you for awhile. How long depends in part if you understand points one and two.

4. Do explain to your new wife, if she was the cause of the marriage breaking up, that you will be attending your children's events without her. If she doesn't understand why, then you are with the wrong person.

That's it. If Rudy would just follow our free advice, his life would be better but then we will be robbed of the opportunity to poke fun at GOP family values.

Barack Obama Mixes it Up with McCain Over Iraq

Click here to watch a video of Barack Obama in front of a Black Trade Union organization calling John McCain out on Iraq. Pretty good stuff.

Is This Report True or Just More Bush BS?

In this article in the New York Times off the record sources are reported as saying that the Bush Administration is looking at cutting back troops in Iraq, beginning in late 2007 and continuing on into 2008. Here is a quote from the article:

The concepts call for a reduction in forces that could lower troop levels by the midst of the 2008 presidential election to roughly 100,000, from about 146,000, the latest available figure, which the military reported on May 1. They would also greatly scale back the mission that President Bush set for the American military when he ordered it in January to win back control of Baghdad and Anbar Province.

The mission would instead focus on the training of Iraqi troops and fighting Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, while removing Americans from many of the counterinsurgency efforts inside Baghdad.

Now, consider the timing of this report. The Republicans in Congress just went through a tough time sustaining Bush's veto. They are being warned by the Democrats that there will be many more votes this summer regarding Iraq. So-called "moderate" Republicans up for election in 2008 are demanding some action by September, although, according to the General in charge, September won't necessarily show much progress from the troop "surge."

What to do if you are the stubborn Bush Administration? Maybe you float this story to try and shore up Republican support with the hope that even if you aren't pulling troops out in September, you will do so by the 2008 election. In short, we think it is just more bs from Bubble-Boy and his gang.

Duck Hunter's Staff Working Against Bubble-Boy

Steve Clemons, who runs ABC's political website called The Note, writes in the Huffington Post that Cheney's staff is working to undermine Bush's policies. This is a quote from the article:

Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the president is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously.

If this is true, the implications are staggering. First of all, if you are President you cannot allow your VP to undercut your efforts in anything, let alone diplomacy in the MidEast. Second, again if true, you cannot allow staffers to the VP to undercut your Secretary of State, who is a cabinet official that you appointed. Finally, if true, it shows why Cheney shouldn't have been given the power that Bush gave him, especially in matters of national security.

All of this, though, is probably good news for Democrats from a purely political point of view. The 2006 election meant that Bush had to realize that there are now peple in positions of power to act as a check on him. He is realizing this far more than Cheney. Cheney is still in full combat mode, acting as if nothing has changed for the Bushies since the election. This means that the Bushies are starting to fight among themselves.

We have seen this very recently in Gonzales's Justice Department, and now we may be seeing it in fighting between Cheney and Rice for Bush's support. The more they fight among themselves, the less power they can exercise.

Of course, from the point of view of American diplomacy in the world, this is not good news. Nor is it good news for the residents of the Persian Gulf because, if Cheney wins the struggle, the changes of a war with Iran increase.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jerid of Buckeye State Blog Goes After Tommy Thompson

If you click here, you can watch a video that is a clip of former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson leaving a meeting with New Hampshire "pro-life" leaders. What is so great about this video is that it shows the power of the internet to allow citizen journalists. Jerid of Buckeye State Blog is the creator of this video clip. It is part of Buckeye State Blog's New Hampshire Project.

Here he is in New Hampshire, probably on a shoe string budget, and yet he has managed to get a short interview with a presidential candidate. Then he took the clip, edited it, added some titles and text overlays, and posted in on You Tube. He probably did this using a relatively inexpensive hand-held camcorder, a laptop computer, and the hosting services of You Tube.

This is the kind of thing that more Democrats should be doing. Get a video camcorder, learn to edit your own video clips, and go down and cover the hell out of local government. Post the clips on You Tube. Put the word out that you are posting them. Let citizens and the media know what you are up to. Don't just criticize the media, become the media. Way to go, Jerid.

Democrats Should Point Out Goodling & Co.'s Inexperience

In an article that appeared in the Legal Times, and which can be read by clicking on the link in this entry's title, there is a discussion about how an immigration judge named Garry Malphrus got his job. Malphrus had no experience in immigration cases. He had apparently never practiced immigration law. He was, however, politically connected. Indeed he was one of the so-called "Brooks Brothers" rioters who intimidated the Dade County Board of Elections into shutting down its recount. Obviously a person who really respects the rule of law.

According to Monica Goodling's testimony, she was told by Kyle Sampson that political hires could be made for the immigration service. Goodling took this as meaning that she could look into the political background of applicants and take such consideration into account. As it turns out, she couldn't and she was forced to admit this week before the House Judiciary Committee that she broke the law.

Overlooked in all of this is how little experience Monica Goodling had compared to the power she was given. She had no experience as an attorney either prosecuting or defending criminal cases or in handling civil cases. She was a political hack who was given her job precisely because she wasn't qualified. According to Wikipedia, this was her background:

Ms. Goodling worked alongside Tim Griffin as an opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign. She joined the Department of Justice's press office after George W. Bush was elected president. She moved to the department's executive office, which is responsible for budgeting, management, personnel management and evaluation, later becoming deputy director of the executive office.[3] After less than a year, Goodling moved again, to the attorney general’s office, working as the the White House liaison

How in the world does that type of experience qualify a person to be hiring and/or firing United States Attorneys for the various Federal Court districts around the country? It is hard to imagine the presumption of a person like Goodling who would assume that she was capable of carrying out such duties given her lack of experience.

We would love to see some Democrat in the future go through her background and then ask her just why she thought she was qualified for the job she had before she resigned. How in the world could a person who had never been in a courtroom, never presented a civil or criminal case to a jury or a judge, never wrote a brief, or handled a client's legal problem, know who should be an United States Attorney? Only in the Bush Administration could this kind of inexperienced incompetent end up making decisions on who to hire and who to fire.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

House Republicans Praise Goodling as She Admits to Violating the Law

Monica Goodling appeared in front of the House Judiciary Committee and admitted to "crossing the line" and looking into the political affilations of people being considered for jobs in the Justice Department. Yet, in spite of this admission, only obtained after she was granted immunity from having her testimony used against her, Republicans on the Committee praised her. Here is one example from the Washington Post article linked to above:

"There not only is no evidence of wrongdoing, but there is no allegation of any wrongdoing on your part," Rep. Steve King (Iowa) told her.

King's remarkable comments are just one more example of the fact that Republicans don't think that the rules apply to them. Republicans like King don't think that Goodling crossed any lines because they believe that, for Republicans, lines don't exist. They are so quick to attack the sins of Democrats and yet so unwilling to recognize their own sins.

As the Washington Post editoral writers wrote in a May 24, 2007 editorial:

It was sad, as well, that so many Republican committee members chose to ignore this ugly fact and heap praise on Ms. Goodling. "I think you have . . . shown people who are here. . . . why people in the Justice Department thought you were worthy of your job," said Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). "Millions of Americans now know a lot more about you, and they're proud to have somebody like you serving in government," said Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) Violating the law against politicizing the civil service is no grounds for pride.

Sad, but not surprising. One thing that comes through time and time again when detailing the actions of this administration or the Republican party in Ohio: they just don't think that the rules apply to them.

MCDAC Advice for Sutton, Kucinich, Ryan, & Brown on Framing the War

Okay, here's some free advice for Congresswoman Betty Sutton, Congressmen Kucinich and Ryan, and Senator Sherrod Brown: start pointing out that a vote against a timetable is a vote for a never-ending war in Iraq. The Bush adminstration and its supporters need to be asked this question over and over: how long is the United States going to have military forces in Iraq? The alternative to timetables isn't victory, it is a limitless war.

The Republicans have been allowed to get away with attacking the Democratic plan without coming up with one of their own. Well, that has to stop. Democrats have to start demanding that the Republicans address the issue of how long they are prepared to keep pouring American lives and money into Iraq.

If the American people had been told in 2002 that American forces would be tied up in Iraq for over four years, that we would lose over 3,000 American soldiers, and that the cost for a war in Iraq would be over 500 billion, they would not have supported going into Iraq. The administration got the American public to support this war by hyping the threat of imaginary weapons of mass destruction and by telling the American people that a war with Iraq would be short and relatively painless.

The reason why the American public was prone to believe that a war with Iraq would be short was that we had the experience of a very short war with Iraq in 1991. Most Americans didn't understand that defeating Iraq's Army would be the easy part, that the hard part would be what happened after Saddam was removed from power. Which is why, of course, that Americans have soured on Bush and his war. Not only were there not weapons of mass destruction, but the short war that Americans expected has become an never-ending war of attrition.

Yet, Democrats who oppose this war aren't stressing that the absence of a plan for withdrawal is a prescription for an endless Iraqi occupation. The American public doesn't want a never-ending war, but that is exactly what they are going to get if they listen to Bush and his supporters.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

John "Bonehead" Bohner Wants Never-Ending War in Iraq

If you click on the link in the title for this entry, you can read an article about the Iraq funding resolution. This article contains the following quote from John Boehner, Minority Leader of the House, (R-OH):Democrats have finally conceded defeat in their effort to include mandatory surrender dates in a funding bill for the troops, so forward progress has been made for the first time in this four-month process.

Okay, so now we know Boehner's position: a bill that sets a timetable for American withdrawal from Iraq is setting a "surrender date." Now, here's the question that every Democrat and progressive who supports setting a timetable should be asking Bonehead and his kind: how much longer should the U.S. stay in Iraq? One year? Two years? Four years? A decade? How much longer should Americans expect to see their sons and daughters killed or wounded in Iraq and their tax dollars spent? And, if you are unwilling to answer that question, then aren't you for a never-ending Iraqi War by the United States?

If the Democrats bill set "surrender dates" then the Republican version of Iraq funding is a bill for unlimited war, a war with no recognized goals, no way to measure success, and no end in sight. Democrats need to make this point over and over: Republicans supporting Bush are supporting never-ending war in Iraq.

Pentagon Planning to be in Iraq for Decades?

NPR put out a story on the May 21, 2007 edition of Morning Edition, about how the United States military is drawing up plans to be in Iraq for decades. This shouldn't come as any surprise.

NATO forces have been in Kosovo now for over a decade and there doesn't seem to be any timetable for withdrawing them. In fact, if Kosovo goes ahead and declares independence from Serbia, they will be needed to make sure that the Albanian majority doesn't start killing the Serbian minority.

What do Kosovo and Iraq have in common? They are both societies where there is a sizable minority of people who are unwilling to accept political and social domination by the majority population.

In Kosovo, the majority of people are Albanians, but there is a significant Serbian minority. The problems in Kosovo started when the Serbs, backed by the Serbian central government in Belgrade, decided to ethnically cleanse the Albanians from Kosovo. This led to civil war, NATO intervention, the overthrow of the Belgrade government, and a war crimes trial for the leader of then Yugosalvia.

In Iraq you have a Sunni minority that used to exercise power over the Shia majority that has lost power and is using violence to try and get it back. In both situations armed forces from the outside are trying to stop an internal civil war. In Kosovo this has been successful, but in Iraq it obviously isn't.

There are literally hundreds of places around the world where this situation potentially exists. The United States cannot intervene in all of them if violence breaks out. We don't have the human resources, the financial resources, or the desire to act as the world's policeman to stop internal violence in societies.

Yet, the last two presidents have gotten the United States involved in such situations. Clinton in Kosovo and Bush in Iraq. In both situations the United States administration was reacting to short term concerns without thinking through the long term consequences. The NATO intervention in Kosovo went comparatively well and the United States intervention in Iraq is a disaster. The difference in outcomes, however, shouldn't obscure the fact that America needs a debate on when and where it is going to involve itself militarily. Yet, such a debate doesn't seem to be happening. The failure to have such a debate could lead to more military involvement in someone else's war. Do the American people really want that?

Thanks to De Mango Opere for the link to the NPR story.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bush's Second Surge?

The link in this entry's title takes you to a story about a so-called "second surge" being conducted in Iraq by the Bush Administration. Hearst newspapers are reporting that due to increased length of deployed troops and faster rotation of troops in and out of Iraq, there will actually be close to 200,000 troops in Iraq at the end of the year. This is in contrast to the approximately 140,000 or so troops that are supposedly going to be in Iraq after the ongoing "surge" is completed.

If true, this could really put GOP lawmakers in an increasingly awkward position. They are resisting putting deadlines down for the withdrawal of American troops, calling such deadlines "surrender dates." Now they find themselves potentially having to defend an underhanded escalation of troops in Iraq when a steadily increasing majority of Americans want a timetable for the end of our involvement.

The Democratic leadership in Congress, who reportedly agreed on Tuesday, May 22, 2007, to an Iraq war funding resolution without timetables, could also be in a bind. When Democratic activists learn of this report from Hearst news, they are going to be even more angry about the Iraq War funding bill.

This report of a surge, combined with the reported compromise between Bush and the Dem leadership, will also complicate the life of Hillary Clinton. She would dearly love to talk about things other than Iraq and why she supported the war resolution back in 2002. News reports like the ones from Hearst will make that more and more difficult.

Of course, the Republicans, the Dem leadership, and Senator Clinton should have learned long before now that Bush will do whatever he wants and you can never, ever trust him or believe what he says.

Reader Submission: Outsourcing and Untapped Citizen Power

GE along with many multi-national companies is not supporting the
American economy when outsourcing is rationalized for highly
automated processes. There is no significant profit justification.

The American economy grew because the middle class through wage scale
growth increased disposable income. They had the financial means to
purchase a larger variety of products which drives business growth.

Jack Welsh while speaking at MIT in April 2007 indicated pride in
suppressing union membership at GE. How does any American derive
pleasure from reducing the life style of working American families?

The American public is recognizing outsourcing is degrading American
life. Is that the image in posterity that GE wants recorded?

The party loyal needs to make a commitment to America first. Who
would have thought democrats could have not chosen Joe Lieberman as
their candidate. We confirmed an essential element of grassroots
power for the orderly removal of a democratic incumbent. Part two is
to complete the general election segment through an unrelenting media

Spread the word, Call congress, GE, and retailers. Tell them they
will lose your vote, your business, and their reputation as a
consequence of any business transferes to foreign plants. For more
detailed information
Kim Kendall

Monday, May 21, 2007

Does the Internet Move Voters or the People who Move the Voters?

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you will read a post by Jill Miller Zimon who has the blog Write Likes She Talks. In the post, she linked to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Senteniel about the use of the internet in politics. In the comments section, we left the comment that while we don't see the internet as moving the average voter, we see it as a tool that will move the people who move the voters.

Here's what we mean by that: people obsessed by politics are like any other group of obsessives, they are relatively small in number. Most people don't really pay attention to politics near as much as those of us who blog about politics, or who donate to politicians, or who volunteer for campaigns. We are, by definition, fanatics. This is why we pay a lot of attention to what happens online.

It isn't the average voter, however, who is reading all the political news on the internet or combing through the blogs. It is the people who are, for want of a better term, "activists" or, as stated above, fanatics, who are using the internet to organize politically and advance ideas on the web. This is not to say that voters who aren't so fanatical about politics won't use the internet to get information. They do, and they will, and tools such as campaign websites and news media websites will be more and more important for such voters.

Which brings us back to our original idea that we put on Writes Likes She Talks. The power of the internet isn't to move the average voter. The power of the internet is to help move the people who help move the average voters.

That power, of course, is what makes it so dangerous to the mainstream media. The internet totally changes the power relationship between the reader and the provider of political information. It used to be that it was impossible to organize without using mail, or phone, or newspapers, or electronic media. As a result, political organization was relatively expensive for the average person. It was relatively expensive for the unorganized to become organized.

Now you can organize by creating and hosting a blog, or by email, or by using a website, or posting a video on You Tube. As broadband increases in popularity and becomes cheaper, as it will, the ability to use the internet to organize politically will become even more important.

People who concentrate just on the numbers of people who use the internet to get political information are missing the point. The point is not just the number of people, it is also the type of people.

GOP Speak: "Voter Fraud" is Code for Let's Stop Black & Poor Folk from Voting

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read a great piece from the McClatchy Newspapers about the GOP efforts to stop minorities and poor people from casting ballots. They did this by having politically appointed lawyers at the Department of Justice bring charges of "voter fraud" against organizations trying to register minorities and poor people as voters; by pushing for adoption of voter identification requirements such as photo ids; by trying to influence the Federal Election Assistance Commission in conclusions it reached about such registeration requirements; and by trying to get rid of one of the Republican commissioners.

This article is interesting for two reasons. The first is that the article comes right out and states that the Republican operatives in the Justice Department were interested in suppressing voting by minorities and the poor. Usually mainstream media outlets are two scared of the right-wing noise machine to be so straight up in their reporting. The second is that it illustrates that progressive complaining about these tactics is beginning to influence how the media reports this story. Both are significant developments and long overdue.

Does Ohio Need State Law on Strippers?

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read an Akron Beacon Journal editorial chiding the Republican General Assembly for adopting a state law prohibiting contact between strippers and patrons. The thrust of the editorial is not that such a prohibition is a bad idea, but that it should be adopted by local governments and not the state. If Cincinnati wants to adopt a no-contact rule and Columbus doesn't, then why is that Cleveland's problem? Why can't local officials decide this issue for themselves? Why does it take a state law to regulate strip clubs?

One of the arguments that conservatives used to make against Federal legislation was that local governments and state governments were better equipped to handle problems. Conservatives used to argue that this was especially true where the government's police power was concerned.

Now, however, Republicans in the General Assembly are more than willing to override the principle of self-government when it helps them score brownie points with a special interest group such as Citizens for Community Values.

Again, the issue here isn't the merits of a no-contact rule. Frankly, we can sympathize with the goals of this legislation. The issue here is which level of government should address this issue.

Cross-posted at

Sunday, May 20, 2007

L.A. Times Story: CIA Reports Iraq Money Going to Bin Laden's Followers in Pakistan

Just in case you needed more evidence to convince any Bush Kool-Aid drinkers you know that the Iraq disaster is hurting our security, try this out. The L.A. Times is reporting that the CIA has been conducting an extensive search for Osama bin Laden. While it hasn't found bin Laden, it has found that money from Iraq is going into Pakistan to help support bin Laden's followers there and in Afghanistan. This money is coming from the kidnapping and ransoming of Iraqis and from donations to groups in Iraq who are fighting the United States. So our staying in Iraq is not only killing American soldiers, it is helping to finance al-Qaeda. Way to go, George. Click on the link in this entry's title to read the whole article.

Send a Letter to Voinovich & Media About Global Warming

We were asked to forward this information on to others and decided to post it on our blog.


Would you be able to help send a Letter to the Editor of your local paper urging Voinovich to cosponsor the Biden-Lugar resolution on global warming?

Below are three ready-to-go letters, but if you or other prefer to rephrase them, you can learn more about the issue from the attached "Dear Colleague" letter.

At bottom, I've included the contact information for the relevant papers--let me know if you would further info.

Thank you,

Tom Bullock
Ohio Representative, National Environmental Trust
1256 Cook Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Voinovich should support U.S. leadership to curb global warming

It's time for Senator Voinovich to get on the record in support of U.S. international leadership to curb global warming pollution. Voinovich should join Senator Sherrod Brown as a cosponsor of the Biden-Lugar Resolution, which calls for the U.S. to resume its leadership role in developing an international treaty that requires reductions in global warming pollution from all major emitting nations.

Why is it important that the U.S. lead? Two reasons:

First, science shows global warming is real, man-made, and already here, as shown by three recent reports by more than 2,500 scientists in more than 130 countries. Ohio is expected to get warmer and drier, with a climate perhaps resembling Arkansas' later in the century.

Second, China won't get real about curbing its global warming pollution until we do. Right now, the U.S. is the world's largest emitter of global warming pollution, but soon China will overtake us for this dubious distinction. We want to engage China now, and stop providing excuses for its global warming emissions.

Home Address
Daytime Phone

Does Voinovich think Global Warming is a myth?

The evidence is in, but the White House has its head in the sand on global warming. So, apparently, does Senator Voinovich, who has yet to cosponsor the Biden-Lugar Resolution, which calls for the U.S. to resume its leadership role in developing an international treaty that requires reductions in global warming pollution from all major emitting nations.

Voinovich opposed similar legislation in 2005, but he change his position this year, given three reports jointly authored by 2,500 scientists worldwide that show global warming is already affecting us ( e.g. through increased floods and storm damage). Ohio's climate is projected to grow warmer and drier during this century, with Ohio summers resembling Arkansas's by 2095.

The public wants strong curbs to global warming pollution, and the Biden-Lugar Resolution would be an important first step towards getting the U.S.--and the rest of the world--on the right track.

Home Address
Daytime Phone

Biden-Lugar Resolution on global warming deserves' Voinovich's support

An important effort to re-engage the U.S. in international leadership on global warming deserves Senator Voinovich's cosponsorship. The Biden-Lugar Resolution, soon to be voted on by the U.S. Senate, calls for the U.S. to resume its leadership role in developing an international treaty that requires reductions in global warming pollution.

Despite past opposition to similar measures, Voinovich can feel good about cosponsoring the Biden-Lugar Resolution, because it:
• would commit all major emitting nations, both developed and developing, to significant reductions in global warming pollution;
• features oversight from bipartisan Senate observers to monitor talks and ensure U.S. negotiators bring back agreements Americans can support.

This is a balanced and sound approach worth supporting, especially given the urgency of acting now to curb global warming pollution.

Home Address
Daytime Phone

(99-word letter for Cincinnati Enquirer)
Voinovich should support U.S. leadership to curb global warming

It's time for Senator Voinovich to get on record in support of U.S. international leadership to curb global warming pollution. Voinovich should cosponsor of the Biden-Lugar Resolution, which calls for America to resume leadership in developing a treaty requiring reductions in global warming pollution from all major emitting nations.

China won't get real about curbing its global warming pollution until we do. The U.S. is currently the world's largest emitter, but soon China will overtake us. We should engage China now and stop providing excuses for its global warming emissions.

Home Address
Daytime Phone


To submit a letter to the editor, keep letters under 200 words, send an email with no attachments, and sign your name, home address, daytime phone, and a valid return email address. Then send to:
• Elyria Chronicle-Telegram;;
• Lorain Morning Journal;;;
• Lake County News-Herald;;;
• Canton Repository; submit at the following link:
• Sun Newspapers (suburban Cleveland);;
• Medina Gazette:;
• Youngstown Vindicator;;
• Warren Tribune-Chronicle;;
• The Dayton Daily News;;
• Times Community Newspapers (Suburban Dayton); see this link for local editor's email:;
• The Springfield News-Sun;; or submit at the following link:;COXnetJSessionID=B1NPuS7l5wFPbsfVp42E5GRH6Q4PaJf8PPhM2dXwUQk1aEiiAuqL!862028175?urac=n&urvf=10947004314500.9402820639255247
• Greene County Dailies;;

John Ashcroft: Too Liberal for Bush

Let's admit it: didn't we all kind of snicker when John Ashcroft had the statutes of Lady Justice covered up at the U.S. Department of Justice? Didn't we think that this was just typical of Ashcroft, to be more concerned about a nude statute than the civil rights of Americans? Well, it turns out that John Ashcroft was an Attorney General who stood up to Bush, resisting this Administration's lawlessness on more than one occasion.

The Washington Post ran a story today about Ashcroft which points out that "Ashcroft also opposed holding detainees indefinitely at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without some form of due process. He fought to guarantee some rights for those to be tried by newly created military commissions. And he insisted that Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers, be prosecuted in a civilian court."

He clashed with Duck Hunter Cheney and Rumsfeld and for his loyalty to the Constitution he was considered expendable by the Bushies. His replacement was a man who was more than willing to turn the Department of Justice over to the likes of Karl Rove. The result is a Department of Justice that is shot through with dissension, has a low morale, and is seeing experienced attorneys leave and being replaced by radical, right-wingers.

So, like Senator Charles Schumer who is quoted in the Post article, we must admit that we have developed a grudging admiration for Ashcroft. Was he conservative? Sure. Would he have been our choice for Attorney General? Not at all. But in his own way, John Ashcroft was dedicated to the rule of law, and that dedication puts light years ahead of Alberto Gonzales.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ohioans Split on Strickland's Proposals for Charter Schools

The Quinnipiac poll that we discussed in an earlier post about Ohioans and strip clubs also polled Ohioans about charter schools. Those responding to the poll split on two of Strickland's charter school proposals.

Ohioans narrowly oppose his plan to eliminate voucher for private school with 46% opposing and 45% supporting the ban. The strongest support was from Democrats, followed by independents and the most opposition came from Republicans and white, born-again evangelicals.

His plan, however, to "freeze" the voucher progam was supported by 49% and opposed by 38%. Again, the strongest support came from Democrats at 54% and independents at 57%. As with the plan to eliminate the voucher programs, the most opposition came from Republicans and white, born again evangelicals.

Despite the split in support for Strickland's plans regarding private school vouchers, most Ohioans believe that his opposition to private school vouchers is motivated by a desire to improve education and not by a desire to pay back teachers' unions for their support. On that question, 52% said they believe that he is opposed to private school vouchers while only 29% thought he wanted to pay back teachers' unions.
Cross-posted at

Friday, May 18, 2007

If Bush & Business Want Immigration "Reform" Tell Them We Want Easier Unionization

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read a short critique by Nathan Newman of the proposed immigration law that is being talked up in the media. This bill is being hailed as a compromise and apparently has the support of Sen. Ted Kennedy. As Newman points out in his critique, however, this bill will allow 450,000 "guest" workers a year into the United States. These workers have the potential to become a second-class labor force with no intent on becoming American citizens and with the potential to undercut American workers' ability to organize.

Here's our suggestion: tell our Senators and Representatives that Democrats want an easier way for unions to organize. There is a bill in the Congress right now that is being pushed by Democrats that would do away with the need for union representation elections if a majority of a workforce signed cards indicating that they want a union. This would stop employers from conducting campaigns where they intimidate workers by bringing them in for meetings, firing organizers, and hiring expensive law firms whose business is stopping workers from organizing.

Don't make the mistake of thinking of the issue of illegal immigrants as separate from the issue of labor rights. Such division is how the right beats the left. Leftist organizations become too interested in protecting their own interests and fail to see how their interests mesh with the interests of other progressive organizations.

Why We Like Nancy Pelosi as Speaker

This is from an article in the Washington Post:

Allies of Republican Christopher Shays of Connecticut say the congressman is being unfairly frozen out by Democrats who are blocking his bills -- just because he narrowly survived his election.

They point to an amendment he offered last week that would have required the Department of Homeland Security to share information with Interpol. The amendment was blocked.

It was no secret that before the election, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), then the House minority leader, had strongly warned Democrats against working with Republicans and giving the GOP opportunities to showcase faux bipartisanship for constituents. It was also no secret that Shays was on top of her list as a member to avoid since the Democrats were after his seat.

Readers of this blog might have recognized that we can't stand Christopher Shays. He is one of those "moderate" Republicans who likes to brag about how "bi-partisan" he is but always manage to vote to enable Bush to carry out his misdeeds. When the money goes down, he is always betting on the administration's side. Our dislike of Shays, however, is not why we like what Pelosi is doing.

We like it because all too often Democrats want to demonstrate to the media how "bi-partisan" they are and play nice with Republicans. This may earn some praise from pundits like David Broder, but it doesn't earn anything but contempt from Republicans. Why? Because a lot of Republicans, especially in Washington, are bullies and the only thing they understand is power and the willingness to use it.

Pelosi understands power and she is willing to use it. Now, unlike people like Dick "The Shooter" Cheney, she doesn't do it with a sneer on her face and she doesn't tell her opponents to "Go **** Yourself", but she gets the job done.

This, of course, confounds the Washington media. The role they have for Democrats is that we are the "Mommy Party" and we are supposed to be all touchy-feely and nurturing. Well, Pelosi is a Mom and she knows how to kick butt. This makes her doubly effective. She presents a nice image and has a backbone of steel. A great combination for the first woman elected as Speaker of the House.

Supporting the Troops: Bush Administration Opposes House of Representatives Planned 3.5% Raise for Military Personnel

The Army Times reports that the Bush Administration is opposing a 3.5% pay raise that the House Democratic Leadership wants to give to American military personnel. Apparently the Bush Administration thinks that a 3% raise is sufficient. The reason why the House wants to give a bigger raise is to close the existing 3.9% gap between civilian jobs and military service. The House raise would close the gap to about 1.4%.

So let's see: if you are a Democrat and you want to get American troops out of the middle of a civil war you are not supporting the troops, but if you are the Bush Administration and want to limit a pay raise for American troops, you are supporting the troops. Does that make sense to you?

Of course, this is all consistent with the Bush Administration's philosophy that people who earn their money are less worthy than those who get their money from investments. This is shown by the fact that the Bush's tax cuts dramatically reduced the tax rates on investment income, especially when compared to earned income. This administration simply doesn't value people who work for a living, even when they serve in the military.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How to Answer the Political Transvestite and Other Republican Demagogues

If you click on the You Tube link below, you can hear the Rudy Giuliani, aka "The Political Transvestite" suggest that Democrats blame America for the horrific events of September 11, 2001. Here is the answer that Democrats need to give to that kind of talk: name one elected Democratic official who has ever blamed Americans for the events of 9-11. As opposed to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell who blamed his fellow Americans for 9-11 by being gay, a member of the ACLU, or a member of the People for the American Way and thereby brought God's punishment down on America.

Washington Post Reports 26 U.S. Attorneys Considered for Firing

At first it was eight, then nine, then ten, and now the figure is at 26. That's the number of U.S. Attorneys considered for firing by Ol' Alberto and his gang of radical, religious right conservatives at the U.S. Department of Justice. That number, by the way, is being reported by the Washington Post in a story that is linked to this entry's title.

Of course, no one claims to know how the names of any U.S. Attorneys got on the list. Gonzales claims that he didn't put the names on the list, his former chief of staff claims not to remember how names got on the list, and his former second in command claims not to know how names got on the list. So what we have is a Department of Justice in which over 25% of the total numer of U.S. Attorneys in the whole country were being considered for termination and no one supposedly knows how or why their names were selected.

People talk about impeaching Bush and/or Cheney. Actually Gonzales would be a much better target. He is demonstratably incompetent, he is not an elected official, so you don't have the argument about undoing the result of an election, and the mainstream media is inclined to believe that he should go. In short, impeaching Gonzales doesn't have the downside of impeaching either Bubble-Boy or Shotgun Cheney.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Video Links Regarding Comey's Senate Testimony

Tuesday, May 15, 2007, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held open hearings to discuss Justice Department policy under the Bush/Cheney administration. Their sole witness was James Comey, formerly Asst. Atty. General under John Ashcroft. Occurring on a busy news day, the hearings were not covered by C-Span, unfortunately (although both Lou Dobbs on CNN and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC dealt with the subject on their programs that evening, and video of part of the hearings is available at a link below)

Mr. Comey's testimony was not only riveting, but shocking in its content and import for anyone concerned about the future of our country. Comey's revelations make it clear that Pres. Bush authorized warrantless wiretapping, knowing it to be illegal, and over the objections of his top two Justice Department officials. All signs point to this illegal decision continuing to guide policy today.

Please see video and commentary at the following links:

Nearly Half of Ohioans Admit to Visiting Strip-Clubs

Given all the attention surrounding strip-clubs in Ohio, the Dayton Daily News is reporting on a poll that was done by Quinnipiac University. The poll, part of a broader poll, broke down the results by political party identification, sex, and church attendance. The poll results showed that 45% of Ohioans admitted to visiting a strip-club at least once.

The breakdown on those admitting to going to strip clubs by political party identification is interesting. According to the poll, the highest percentage was recorded by those respondants who described themselves as political independents at 53%; Republicans were at 42%; and Democrats were at 40%.

Among men and women the breakdown was 63% for the men responding and 28% for the women responding. (Okay, probably no surprise there)

According to the poll, 34 percent of the white, born again, evangelicals admitted to visiting a strip club.

The poll has Ohio voters opposing 48 - 43 percent a statewide limit on adult entertainment between midnight and 6 a.m. But voters support 52 - 35 percent requiring a six-foot distance between dancers and patrons in strip clubs. Women support the six-foot rule 65 - 20 percent, while men oppose it 51 - 38 percent.

A summary of the poll can be read here.

Washington Post Reports that Gonzales Badgered Ashcroft in Hospital to Sign Executive Order Opposed by Justice Department

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read about how then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales went to George Washington Hospital in the dead of hte night. He went there to ask Gonzales to sign off on an executive order that reauthorized the administration's domestic survelliance program. The kicker is that the Justice Department under Ashcroft, who was at the time the Attorney General, had refused to certify its legality.

The article is a report on testimony that James B. Comey, who was acting Attorney General while Ashcroft was hospitalized, gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In that testimony he recounted how top officials at the Justice Department were prepared to resign in mass if the Administration insisted on following the executive order. Apparently the threat of such resignations caused Bush to rescind the order and amend it to meet Justice Department objections.

Comey described how he received a call from Ashcroft's Chief of Staff that Gonzales and Andrew Card, who was then White House Chief of Staff, were on their way to the hospital to obtain a signature. Ashcroft's Chief was reporting to Comey about a call he had received from Mrs. Ashcroft concerning a call she got from the White House, possibly from the President himself. Comey then contacted the FBI Director who ordered the security detail at Ashcroft's room not to allow Card and Gonzales to order Comey from the room.

When Comey got there Card and Gonzales were not yet there, but arrived shortly after him. Ashcroft told Card and Gonzales what the Department's objections were but said that since Comey was Acting AG, they had to get his approval, which Comey refused to give. During their time at the hospital neither Card or Gonzales acknowledged Comey's presence.

And now, of course, Gonzales is Attorney General. You have to wonder if he was appointed to bring what must be to Bush a rogue agency, an agency that dared to tell Bubble-Boy that he couldn't have what he wanted, under control. Instead of talking about impeaching Bush or Cheney, progressives should talk about impeaching Gonzales. He shouldn't be in charge of the Justice Department and Bush won't remove him because he is doing exactly what Bush wants.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Survey USA Poll Shows Clinton Beating McCain, Romney, Tied with Giuliani in Ohio

Survey USA released a poll that it did for two Ohio television stations. The poll shows Clinton tied with Giuliani at 46% each, beating McCain 49-44% and Romney 53-38%. This poll is interesting because one argument against Hillary Clinton is that she can't win in a state like Ohio. You can read more about this survey with links to the poll results by clicking here.

Ohio Poll Has Strickland at Historic Approval Rating

The University of Cincinnati released the first Ohio poll done since Ted Strickland took office in January. Strickland got a record 68% approval rating from those surveyed. This is a quote from the release put out by the University on the poll results:

Strickland’s approval rating is the highest initial gubernatorial approval rating recorded by the Ohio Poll in its 26-year history. Former Governor Richard Celeste’s first approval rating, in Spring 1983, was 32 percent. Former Governor George Voinovich received a 61 percent approval rating at the beginning of his first-term in 1991. Most recently, former Governor Bob Taft received a 49 percent approval rating in Spring 1999.

Strickland got high approval ratings from Democrats (75%) and Republicans (64%). The Poll showed that a majority of those surveyed also approved of the job that the Ohio General Assembly was doing, with 59% approving and 29% disapproving. Like Strickland, the Ohio General Assembly got a majority approval ratings from both Democrats (59%) and Republicans (63%).

The Poll also asked about what issues those surveyed thought were important and should be addressed by Ohio's state government. Ohioans thought that it was "very important" that Ohio address the following:

“Improving Ohio’s economy” (61%);
“Improving the job situation in Ohio” (58%);
“Reducing the cost of health care in Ohio” (57%);
“Reducing the number of Ohio children without health insurance” (55%);
“Improving the quality of K through 12 public education in Ohio” (54%);
“Reducing crime in Ohio” (53%); and
"Improving Ohio’s system of financing K through 12 public education” (51%).

Note that those issues really favor Strickland and the Democrats since, for the most part, they are the issues that Ted Strickland and Lee Fisher stressed in last year's campaign. Interestingly regulating strip clubs isn't on the above list.

You can read the whole poll results by clicking here and following the directions.

This entry cross-posted at

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bill Clinton Web Ad for Hillary

Here is the latest web ad from the Clinton campaign:

The Political Power of Intensity

One Saturday last October both Sherrod Brown and Mike DeWine appeared for voter rallies and campaigning in Medina County. The Sherrod Brown event drew around 150 people. The DeWine event drew six people. Think about that for a minute. An incumbent GOP Senator running in a very tough re-election campaign was only able to attract six people to the GOP Medina County Headquarters. As a friend of ours pointed out recently the above example shows the power of intensity in political campaigns.

This brings us to Senator Clinton's campaign in Medina County and Ohio. When he was recounting that story, our friend was remarking on why he thinks that Senator Clinton's campaign will have trouble in Ohio. He believes that Democratic activists will not be as emotionally committed to her campaign as Republicans will be emotionally committed to defeating her. He believes that while Democratic activists will still vote for Senator Clinton, she will not arouse their passions like other candidates such as Barack Obama.

In the link in this entry's title is a news article about Senator Clinton's speech at the Ohio State Democratic Party dinner last Saturday, April 12, 2007. In the article there is a note about dinner attendees not responding with enthusiasm when Congresswoman Stephanie T. Jones tried to lead them in a chant for Hillary. Although it is early, this incident may show a lack of political passion for Senator Clinton in Ohio. If true, that will make it much harder for her to win Ohio in 2008.

Bill Clinton's Advice to His Wife

The New York Times on Sunday ran a story about Bill Clinton's role in Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign. This is a quote from that article:

Advisers say his advice to her can be boiled down to a few broad themes. He urges her to remember that the biggest person gets elected (in other words, the one who rises above political pettiness) and that the most optimistic candidate wins. He has encouraged her to talk about average people who work hard and play by the rules, classic Clintonian language. And she has, using those phrases and other themes in talking, for example, about regular Americans who are “invisible” to the Bush administration. (Advisers say Mr. Clinton did not devise the invisible line.)

Note that absent in those themes is anger at the Bush Administration. Indeed, according to the New York Times quote above, Bill Clinton thinks that anger is counter-productive politically. He believes that optimism is more appealing to the American electorate than anger.

The problem for Hillary Clinton, though, is that a lot of Democrats who vote in the primaries are really mad at the Bush Administration. The war in Iraq, reckless tax cuts for the rich, gutting of environmental laws to help campaign supporters, the politicization of the U.S. Department of Justice, just to name a few of the wrongs done by the Bushies, is enough to tick off the mildest mannered Democrat.

So here is the dilemmna facing Clinton and other 2008 Democratic presidential candidates: How do you satisfy the activists in the Democratic Party while appealing to independents and Republicans in the fall campaign? Keeping in mind all the while that if you don't win the nomination all the appeals in independents don't mean squat.

The link for the NYT article is in this entry's title. The site may require registration before you can read the article.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Halliburton Moves Headquarters to Dubai

Halliburton is moving its headquarters from Houston to Dubai. This is just another example of how multi-national corporations don't see themselves as American companies, even though they are incorporated in the United States. They see themselves as international companies whose operations are not in America but world-wide, even though most of their employees are Americans and even though they want help and contracts from the American government.

Well, here is a thought: if they don't seem themselves as American companies, why should we? More importantly why should the American government keep helping them out with contracts, sweetheart tax provisions, and other perks? Isn't it past time to start thinking of them the way they think of themselves? Isn't it past time to give them the same consideration they give American workers and taxpayers, which is to say, none?

These people aren't loyal to any one country, they are loyal to themselves and since so much of their compensation is paid in share options, to their shareholders. They don't care about this country except to make money off of it. They are perfectly to fund Republican candidates like Bubble-Boy and Dick "The Duck Hunter" Cheney who will protect their interests while shipping jobs and capital overseas. They are perfectly willing to have American troops in Iraq so they can access its oil fields but don't want their own kids serving in BB's ill-advised war. In short, they are perfect examples of the "me-first", piggish attitude that characterizes this administration and its supporters.

Will Medina County Start a Trend in Passing Sales Taxes for Schools?

Terry Oblander of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has an article in this Sunday's edition in which he raises the question of whether Medina County will start a trend of counties enacting sales tax increases to fund schools. The article suggests that it probably won't happen, although it is possible that the county commissioners' organization will seek legislation to raise the amount of money counties can collect in sales taxes.

Right now counties can collect up to 1.5% on top of what the state charges. What Medina County did was to pass a sales tax for capital improvements with the understanding that only schools will benefit from the sales tax. There are legal questions as to whether you can require that a county capital improvements board just fund school projects with the funds.

Right now, this problem won't come up because the people appointed to the new Medina County board are pledged to use the money just for school projects. The question remains, though, whether future county commissioners will only appoint such members. The thinking is that they will, but thre is no legal requirement that they do so.

The article also points out that Medina County has shopping districts that bring in residents from other counties. One selling point was that other counties' residents will be helping fund Medina County's schools. Since we live in Medina County we are all for that, but how many counties can effectively make that argument?

Oblander's bottom line seems to be that while this tax increase is good for Medina County, and could lead to lower property taxes in Medina County, it is not likely to be adopted by a lot of other counties.

GOP Senator Resents Obama's Suggestion that Iowa Voters Contact Him

This article from the Des Moines Register shows how out of touch some politicians can become. Barack Obama was in Iowa campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination. He suggested that Iowa voters contact one of their two U.S. Senators to lobby him to support the Iraq War funding bill that establishes timetables. . Obama was referring to Sen. Grassley since Iowa's other U.S. Senator, Tom Harkin, was on record supporting this legislation.

Now, let's think about what Obama was suggesting. He was suggesting that Iowa voters contact one of their Senators to express their views on pending legislation in the Senate. A lot of people, us included, think that Senators and Representatives are supposed to listen to voters, that it is part of their job to listen to voters. That is one reason why the First Amendment to the United States Constitution gives a constitutional right to Americans to petition their government, so they can voice their opinions to their elected officials.

Well, if you think that, according to Sen. Grassley's staff, you are wrong. According to Grassley's staff it is "unprofessional" for one Senator to suggest to voters of another state that they should exercise their constitutional rights. Here's what Grassley himself said: "If you can't be senatorial, how can you be presidential?" Grassley asked.

It gets better. According to Grassley's staff the reason why they shouldn't contact Grassley about this matter is that Grassley isn't a key vote on this bill. Here is a quote from the Register's article from Beth Levine, Grassley's press secretary: It's been demonstrated that the votes aren't there to override the veto," she said.

"So there isn't an opportunity for a veto override in the Senate in this case and as a result there's no way Sen. Grassley holds a key vote," she said.

Talk about arrogant and out of touch. Since Grassley's vote is not "key" voters shouldn't lobby one of their two Senators about this bill? How about this reasoning, Beth: he may not be key on this particular vote, but other Senate votes are coming up and they want Grassley to know what they are thinking? Furthermore, what Senator wants his press secretary telling the world that he isn't a "key vote" on anything? Doesn't that make him look unimportant and ineffective? This is not just arrogance, it is professional stupidity.

This should be the slogan of Senator Grassley and his staff: "I'm Senator Grassley and I don't care what you think."

Two Reader Recommended Richardson for President Ads

Two of our regular readers sent us a link to two ads that the Richardson for President campaign is running. They are very good ads and, considering that Richardson is way behind in name recognition, both funny and effective. You can watch them here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Republicans are Singing "See You in September" but What Does it Mean?

The New York Times published a story that you can read by clicking on the link in this entry's title. Basically the article points out that while Congressional Republicans are focusing on September as when the Bush Administration has to show some progress in Iraq, they don't know how progress should be defined. They have no agreed system for measuring Iraqi progress to establishing a functioning government.

Think about that for a minute. Here they are, four years into a war that their party started and they have no idea how to tell if we are winning or even what winning would look like. These people are simply incompetent. They are not capable of governing this country. The sad thing is, of course, that it is not just Republicans who suffer from this demonstrated incompetence, it is all of us.

Reader Submission: Poem about Barack Obama

A reader sent us this poem and we decided to post it because we have never had someone send us a poem before.

OBAMA 2008!

Global justice billions crave
Revolution now… the wave.
Fresh solutions far and wide
Peace procurement now…the tide.
On waves and tides of cosmic scale
audacity and hope now sail.
OBAMA 2008!

U. S. poverty must Go.
A conscientious overthrow.
The working poor, the down and out.
Revolution now…the shout.
Vote ones heart … evolve … transcend
the Wisdom Way to comprehend.

A living wage for one and all.
Resolution now…the call.
Civil rights again restore.
Revolution! … Just once more.
The Common Dream now full force…
a visionary, gutsy course.
OBAMA 2008!

Universal health care, Yes!
Congress HAS it, are WE less?
Equal rights across the board.
Resolution now… the chord.
Americans, a lively blend,
pilot the progressive trend.


Peaceful revolution, Yes!
The human race to coalesce.
One Creator, over ALL.
One last chance to heed the Call --
Love’s the lesson. Life’s the school.
Peace On Earth. The Golden Rule.
Live the Lesson. Heal our Earth.
… Imagine …
Transformation now. Rebirth!



Spur the people stir the fire
Mobilize and walk the wire.
Back on track and off the dime --
Revolution. One last time.
So amplify the drums and riff.
Be the ANSWER to "What if……?"

Copyright 2006, Alice Connally Fisk

Media Matters' Jamison Foser Asks: Why Are Only Progressive Politicians Accused of Hypocrisy

In this post by Jamison Foser of Media Matters asks why are only progressive politicians like John Edwards tagged by the media as hypocrites while conservative politicians who advocate for the rich are ignored? MCDAC has also wondered about this and we have come to two conclusions.

One is that it is far easier for the media to cover personal issues such as a politician allegedly being "hypocritical" than to cover policy issues. The media justifies this because they say that revealing a politician's personal character tells us how that person will behave in office.

First of all, that is a debatable premise. Bill Clinton obviously had some issues regarding his marriage, which the media explored ad naseum. Yet, that didn't stop him from advancing programs that were supported by a huge majority of the American public. Did that fact that Clinton was involved with Jennifer Flowers or, for that matter, Monica Lewinsky, tell us anything about the policies he pursued as president?

Second, the American public cares more about substance than personality. There is a lot of increasing dissatisfaction with the media and a lot of it is driven by the content of today's media. This is true of the news media as it is of the entertainment media.

The other reason why the media focuses on the alleged "hypocrisy" of a politician like John Edwards is that a lot of them make a lot of money and don't want to pay more taxes. We are not talking about people who cover your local city hall. We are talking about the blowhards who pontificate on the cable news shows or who have executive positions in news organizations. These people are doing alright financially. People like Edwards will raise their taxes and, in the process, make them feel guilty about not doing enough to help the poor. It is a common human reaction when someone's positions make you feel guilty to try and tear that person down. Attacking the person for hypocrisy is one way to avoid the issue the person is raising.

So, that's our take on why the media treats progressive politicians one way and conservative politicians another way. It is easier and it protects their financial interests.

MCDAC Newsletter for May 11, 2007

MCDAC Democratic Newsletter
May 11, 2007

Item from Pam Miller, Medina County Dem Chair
I still have a few tickets available for the Ohio Democratic Party State Dinner, this Saturday, with Senator Hillary Clinton. Tickets are $150. Email or call 330-725-7487

MCDAC Blog Entries

Once again Voinovich puts drug company profits ahead of Ohio's consumers

Why is the media still calling it a surge?

Ford repays union concessions with closing of Brook Park casting plant.

Where did DeWine get his money?

American foreign policy post WW II

Voinovich on Iraq: "Everybody got conned"

Congresswoman Sutton Making an Impact in DC on Trade

Reporters can dish it out, but can they take it?

Clinton targeting women donors while Obama goes after young

Bob Woodward covering for the Bushies?

Bush is a drag on the GOP

Brownback breaks with the Bush Administration line

Presidential candidate branding.
Other entries can be read at

Joyce Kimbler, Treasurer
P.O. Box 1213
Medina, OH 44258

Friday, May 11, 2007

Romney Distancing Himself from Bubble-Boy

First it was Sam Brownback, now it is Mitt Romney. With Bush's approval ratings in the low 30s or high 20s, the war in Iraq escalating, and the whole GOP in danger of getting slaughtered in '08, Mitt Romney is distancing himself from Bush. Both Romney and Brownback see an opportunity to become the "anti-Bush" in the race for the GOP nomination.

With his different views on abortion, Rudy Giuliani, the political transvestite, could also become the "anti-Bush" in '08 among Republicans, but he is wedding himself to the war. John McCain has already done so, although he keeps trying to have it both ways.

Romney and Brownback got the better idea. Start distancing youself from the Iraq War, hope that Hillary is the Dem nominee, and maybe you can avoid the fallout from BB's blunders. It is sure better for them than drinking more Bush Kool-Aid and getting killed.

Will Barack Obama Move Us Beyond the Sixties?

As this blog has noted before, the generation that came of age in the Sixties was a generation that faced crisises that divided America, not united America. The civil rights movement, the women rights movement, and the war in Vietnam all divided Americans rather than brought them together. This is in contrast to the crisises faced by that generation's parents, such as the Great Depression, WW II, and the Cold War. These crisises, which involved all of the Society facing a common threat, brought Americans together.

One result of the Sixties was bitter inter-generational conflict. This was carried over into politics. Look at the first two baby-boomer presidents, Clinton and Bush. They are two different political personalities with two very different philosophies.

One advantage that Barack Obama may have is that while he is technically a baby-boomer, he was born very late in that generation. This means that he wasn't caught up in the whole Sixties experience. He wasn't part of the bitter debates that marked that period. This means that he has a whole different outlook on American politics.

This also may mean that he can transcend the bitter divisions of that era. This may be why he is enjoying a lot more support than people thought he would enjoy. Americans may instinctively recognize that his election would represent a different approach to politics.

All of this is not meant as an endorsement of Obama. Rather it is an attempt to figure out where his supporters are coming from and why he has strong support.

Iraq Parliment Wants Timetable for U.S. Withdrawal

Okay, so this is the situation regarding the Iraq War: A majority of the American public wants a timetable for U.S. withdrawal; a majority of the Congress wants a timetable for American withdrawal; and now the Washington Post is reporting that a majority of the Iraqi Parliment has signed a draft bill that would require a timetable for American withdrawal. This is the first two paragraphs of the Washington Post story:

A majority of members of Iraq's parliament have signed a draft bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels. The development was a sign of a growing division between Iraq's legislators and prime minister that mirrors the widening gulf between the Bush administration and its critics in Congress.

The draft bill proposes a timeline for a gradual departure, much like what some U.S. Democratic lawmakers have demanded, and would require the Iraqi government to secure parliament's approval before any further extensions of the U.N. mandate for foreign troops in Iraq, which expires at the end of 2007.

Now this is the irony of the situation: Bubble-Boy, aka our President, keeps telling the American public and the world that we are working to establish a democracy in Iraq. He bragged about the elections in Iraq. He claims to respect Iraq's emerging democratic institutions. Yet when the elected representatives of the Iraqi people come out in favor of a timetable, and when the elected representatives of the American people come out in favor of a timetable, Bush acts like they are traitors and his surrogates accuse them of caving in to terrorism.

So what example of democracy is Bush sending to the Iraqis and to the rest of the world?

You can read the Washington Post article by clicking on the link in this entry's title.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

NY Times Reports Giuliani to Embrace Abortion Rights

In what is seen as a direct challenge to the influence of the religious right in the Republican Party, the New York Times is reporting that Rudy Giuliani is going to announce for a woman's right to choose. Since 1980 Republican presidential candidates have announced their support for pro-life positions, regardless of their previous record or stated beliefs. This is about to turn the GOP primaries into a real battle between Rudy Giuliani and the people who supported George W. Bush and are credited with his re-election in 2004.

This will be fun to watch, although such a battle, if Giuliani wins the nomination could make him harder to beat in the 2008 election. This move will reinforce the media's desire to portray the political transvestite as some sort of "moderate" Republican without asking him where he stands on issues such as Bush's reckless tax cuts and the need to strengthen the social safety net.

One thing that could happen if Giuliani is nominated is the creation of a third party by right-to-lifers. Traditionally in America third parties are on the fringe unless they start to gain broader appeal. When that happens one of the two major parties co-opts the ideas of the third party and takes their supporters into its embrace.

That history, though, was created before the Internet. The Internet makes it possible to organize faster and link up people who have common beliefs but are physically far removed from each other. There is no reason why the Internet couldn't be used to create a third party.

The function of political parties was to bring groups of people together who shared a common belief system. Such people were spread out and needed an organization in order to combine their efforts to achieve political power. Once you have a very inexpensive way of finding out who people are that share your belief system, why do you necessarily need a political party?