news aggregator

March 16, 2006

According to Republican talking points, Democratic leaders are "ecstatic" about censure. If only!

Categories: Blogs

By Alex Sabbeth,

The new Zogby poll gauging the opinions of American troops in Iraq has drawn attention mostly because it finds that 72 percent believe the United States should withdraw in a year or less and only 23 percent favor George W. Bush’s plan to “stay the course.”

But the poll also illustrates the power of propaganda.

Shockingly, 85 percent of the troops questioned believe they are fighting in Iraq “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks” – one of the key Iraq War myths built by Bush’s frequent juxtaposition of references to Osama bin-Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Categories: Blogs
From MSNBC we get the breaking news:
50 aircraft, 1,500 soldiers attack targets north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military said on Thursday it had launched its biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion of the country.

A military statement said the operation involving more than 50 aircraft and 1,500 Iraqi and U.S. troops as well as 200 tactical vehicles targeted suspected insurgents operating in Salah ad din, located 60 miles north of Baghdad.

How many hearts and minds will this win? An in-depth Knight Ridder from a few days ago casts grave doubts on this strategy:

Osama Jadaan al Dulaimi, a tribal leader in the western town of Karabilah, a town near the Syrian border that was hit with bombs or missiles on at least 17 days between October 2005 and February 2006, said the bombings had created enemies.

"The people of Karabilah hate the foreigners who crossed the border and entered their areas and got into a fight with the Americans," al Dulaimi said. "The residents now also hate the American occupiers who demolished their houses with bombs and killed their families ... and now the people of Karabilah want to join the resistance against the Americans for what they did."

The Knight Ridder article is worth a full read as we await news from Iraq.

Shock. Awe. Death. And the amazing destruction and intimidation of aerial weaponry.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs

Thursday, March 16, 2006
NEW* BUSH in Washington, DC: POTUS participates in the signing of H.R.
32, the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act at 3:00 PM. [White
House Press Release]

NEW* ROMNEY in Boston, MA: Governor Romney announces $516.5 million in
Commonwealth Capital funds to support smart growth across Massachusetts
at 10:30 AM. [The Note,, 03/16/06]

UPDATED* BUSH in Washington, DC: POTUS attends St. Patrick's Day

Categories: Blogs
Like Yglesias, I miss the good old days when it was all social security all the time. It's a largely unacknowledged success of the liberal blogosphere, but I'm fairly convinced that collectively we killed that sucker.

I also miss the Washington Post editorials telling us that the universe was going to implode if we didn't gut social security NOW.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

By John Harwood, Wall Street Journal

Bush Approval Rating Hits A Low as War Pessimism Offers Edge for Democrats

WASHINGTON -- President Bush and fellow Republicans approach the fall midterm elections facing one political problem above all others: responding to rising public anxiety about Iraq.

The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll charts the toll that Iraq has taken on the Bush presidency. The survey shows the president's approval rating falling to 37%, a low for Mr. Bush, with disapproval highest for his handling of the war. His party's advantage on handling Iraq has narrowed amid public pessimism about the conflict, helping Democrats open a double-digit edge in voter preferences for controlling Congress.

Categories: Blogs

Democracy for America features highlights from DFA-Link groups around the country each week. Dave Reiter is a member of DFA Miami-Dade. You can see more local DFA actions going on at

Every week DFA members across the nation activate their communities, spread the Progressive DFA message, and communicate with our elected officials. A few of the unifying themes that the Southern DFA groups rally behind are ending the Iraq war, ensuring physically verifiable elections, and holding our elected officials accountable for their actions. As the South goes about holding candidate forums, members are sure to let their voices be heard, and hold the candidates accountable to Progressive ideals.

Houston DFA is showing people how they can be more involved with the election process. 'Participating In your Democratic Party Senate District Convention' is the current training guide they have posted on-line to help members understand how to effectively influence the State Democratic Platform and its Party leaders. Group organizer, Phillip McNutt, reminds members that, " 'make our voices heard' we must be an active part of the political process."

Boulder DFA and Las Vegas DFA are urging members to write their Senators about the Feingold motion on the floor to censure the President. On Tuesday, Senator Feingold introduced a motion to censure President Bush for illegally wiretapping Americans and purposely avoiding FISA laws. Boulder DFA offers talking points people can use in the letters that include the fact that in America, no man is above the law…and we need not wait for an investigation because the President has already admitted to sidestepping FISA laws. Both groups are urging us all to write Senator Feingold to say thank you in addition to writing our local Senators to support his motion for censure.

DFA Santa Monica decided to help Floridians by asking their members to write Florida State Senators, Representatives, and election officials about creating a verifiable election process. Working with VoteTrust, USA, the letter they are asking people to write scolds Florida officials for mistreating, deliberately ignoring, and rejecting recommendations by Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho. Sancho ran the same tests that the state of California ran that determined that there is severe security vulnerabilities in the Diebold voting system; because of the tests, the State decided to take Leon County's $564,421 in HAVA funds away, threatened Mr. Sancho, personally, with legal action, and said voting system vendors cannot do business with him.

While the Bush ignited election reform debacles rage throughout the country, groups still have the energy to tackle other issues important to its members. DFA Miami and the Coral Park Young Dems participated in the UofM janitor strike organized by the SEIU and UofM political group, STAND ...which is headed by longtime DFA member, Jake Coker-Dukowitz. The janitors at UofM are currently receiving $6.40 an hour on average, and have no health benefits. 2 weeks ago, in conjunction with the SEIU, janitors decided to strike in hopes of gaining health care benefits and a livable wage. The strike continues today.

—Dave Reiter

Categories: Blogs
As Bush continues to insist the US is bringing peace and freedom to Iraq, his latest plan to quell the insurgency spends billions more to stem the use of IEDs.

Categories: News
What they want:

Two of the Web’s most famous blogs, the liberal Daily Kos and the conservative RedState, have trumpeted the Hensarling bill since it failed on the suspensions calendar during a November vote, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage but snagging more than half of the House. The bloggers of Daily Kos, RedState and other online forums argue that the Allen-Bass alternative, which would provide targeted exceptions from the law for individuals and some websites, would force them to register as political committees.

Allen did not dispute that possibility. He noted that his bill would allow websites unrestricted operations as long as their annual expenditures did not exceed $10,000.

“They might well have to file,” Allen said of blogs as large as Daily Kos, “but that’s the point. If the Internet becomes more important, the types of financial abuses that occurred within the campaign-finance system in general” are more prone to occurring.

No one can explain why Markos should be treated differently than the National Review Online,, Fox News, Air America, etc... but they really really want to nonetheless.

Idiots, as are plenty of commenters at kos who seem to think the issue is that since Kos makes money from his site he needs to be regulated by the FEC.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
Slowly, Senators are publicly standing up against the President's blatant lawlessness:  Senators Feingold, Harkin, Boxer are confirmed to support censure. Senators Kerry and Menendez are possible supporters as well.  

As for the rest of the Senate Democrats, I can only imagine what has transpired in the last few days.  Meeting in locked rooms in huddled groups, whispering about how to deal with this "situation." The phone lines in D.C. are burning up as they contact their consultants, the Dan Gersteins of the world who advise them to delay, delay, distract, distract, and maybe the "situation" will go away.  "Distance yourself from the angry bloggers," I bet is a mantra repeated by those consultants. "You don't want to appear extreme," they probably claim.  Never mind that censure is one of the most reasonable and prudent steps a Senator can take in the face of the President's extraordinary crimes.  If you've wondered why the Democrats have been so silent, it is because they're consulting--with polls (though not the ones that say 52% support impeachment, or the ones that say 77% don't buy the unitary executive theory); with mealy-mouthed consultants; with other Democrats who are pissed off Feingold sprung this on them; with the D.C. establishment who with chuckles and an obliviousness to the gravity of the situation asks them "how are you going to get out of this one?"

That process of appeasement and slipping away into the shadows is the root of our minority status.  Democrats, there is one consultation to be had on this issue: a consultation with your conscience. Lock yourself alone in a room, take the phone off the hook, and pull out a copy of the Constitution.  Hold that fiber of our democracy in your hands.  Feel how such a light piece of paper has managed to carry the weight of national chaos, year after year,war after war for over 200 years.  Hold it in your hands, and ask yourself: am I prepared to rip this into pieces? Are your trembling hands willing to shred it and let the tattered remains of our democracy fall silently to your feet?

Consult your conscience.  The censure resolution will fail in the full Congress, but the success to be had is that the Democratic Party, in unison and in unwaivering voice, declares that the rule of law still means something in the United States of America.  That our party is not willing to unravel the Constitution thread by thread to weave the Emperor's clothes.  

The "angry bloggers" that your consultants warn you about are "angry" because we're not ready to toss the Constitution into the fire.  We're the ones who you will ask to vote for you in upcoming elections. We're the ones you will send fundraising emails too. We're the ones you rely on to get out the vote. And we're the ones urging you to consult your conscience--and nothing more--on this critical issue.

And we'll keep urging you, day after day, to side with the rule of law and not the lawbreaker. So come on, citizens, let's remind the Senators of their oath, and let's get more than five Senators to save our Constitution.


Update: To clarify, the above is speculation on my part about what may be going on behind the scenes. It's not to imply that Senators aren't consulting their conscience. I'm sure they are. But it's possible that in the days and weeks to come, they'll also be bombarding with such advice, as has happened in the past. I would hope that the decision is based on what feels right, rather than what they're told is right. As for actually making that decision, it will take some time. Don't get frustrated by the undecideds. This is going to be a prolonged discussion, and a discussion our country needs to have.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
Probably not, but Senator Harkin gives it a try anyway:

We have a President who likes to break things. He has broken the federal budget, running up $3 trillion in new debt. He has broken the Geneva Conventions, giving the green light to torture. He has repeatedly broken promises – and broken faith – with the American people. And now, worst of all, he has broken the law.

In brazen violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), he ordered the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless wiretaps of American citizens. And, despite getting caught red-handed, he refuses to stop.

Let's be clear: No American – and that must include the President – is above the law. And if we fail to hold Bush to account, then he will be confirmed in his conviction that he can pick and choose among the laws he wants to obey. This is profoundly dangerous to our democracy.

So it is time for Congress to stand up and say enough! That's why, this week, Senator Russ Feingold proposed a resolution to censure George W. Bush for breaking the FISA law. And that's why I fully support this resolution of censure.

Nothing is more important to me than the security of our country. Of course, we need to be listening to the terrorists' conversations. And sometimes there is not time to get a warrant. That's why the FISA law allows the President, when necessary, to wiretap first, and obtain a warrant afterward. But that's not acceptable to this above-the-law President. He rejects the idea that he should have to obtain a warrant before or after wiretapping.

We have an out-of-control President whose arrogant and, now, illegal behavior is running our country into the ditch. It's time to rein him in. And a fine place to start is by passing this resolution of censure. I hope that Senator Feingold's measure will be brought to the floor. And when it is, I will proudly vote yes.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
Uh, the smart thing to do is, you know, do the opposite?
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

Been a little intense around here lately.  Anyone in the mood for some late-night snark? Okay then...

"Everybody excited about March Madness...the big NCAA tournament?  Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16.  It's just like Bush's approval rating."
---David Letterman:


"The Sopranos are a lot like the Bush administration. There are wiretaps, people going to jail, and the second-in-command accidentally shoots his best friend."
---Jay Leno


"Pentagon records show that at least 8,000 members of the all-volunteer U.S. military have deserted since the Iraq war began.  Hey, at least somebody has an exit strategy."
---Tina Fey


"More people, particularly Republicans, disapprove of President Bush's performance. They're questioning his character now and they no longer consider him a strong leader on terrorism. Apparently there's a little more to this whole presidency thing than just not getting blown."
 ---Bill Maher


"The other day new-age musician Yanni was arrested for fighting with his girlfriend.  Not to be outdone, John Tesh and Kenny G have gone on a killing spree."
---Conan O'Brien

And now take a deeeep breath.  And hold it.  Hold it.  Hold it.  Keep holding.  Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!]  RIGHTNOW!  [Gong!!]

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
Via Atrios:

All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent.--Cal Thomas [Conservative elitist blowhard]

In Cal's tradition, let's do just that:

[Link] "Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless victory. The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics' complaints." (Fox News Channel's Tony Snow, 4/27/03)
"The only people who think this wasn't a victory are Upper Westside liberals, and a few people here in Washington." (Charles Krauthammer, Inside Washington, WUSA-TV, 4/19/03)
"We're all neo-cons now."  (MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 4/9/03)
"I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that wager?" (Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, 1/29/03)

Here's a winner:

"I'm waiting to hear the words 'I was wrong' from some of the world's most elite journalists, politicians and Hollywood types.... I just wonder, who's going to be the first elitist to show the character to say: 'Hey, America, guess what? I was wrong'? (MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 4/10/03)

Good point Joe, let us know when you and your fellow elitists are going to admit you were wrong. But don't stop with saying it to 'America'. How about all you media cheerleaders say you were wrong during your routine ratings whore visits to Walter Reed, to the faces of each and every injured man and woman, and to each Gold Star Family member? Compared to the price paid by almost twenty-thousand US Service People, that's not asking for too much character, is it? For more anniversary memories, see this superb post by Meteorblades.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
Arnold's been left twisting in the wind. Thanks to his own Republican Party.

Categories: Blogs
Is the federal government so concerned about Hugo Chávez that it's questioning college professors about their ties to Venezuela?
Source: AlterNet
Categories: News
'We are in an unjustifiable war. We are crippling our country with debt and fear, and killing off our children's prospects through neglect.'
Source: AlterNet
Categories: News
Even a quick glance at coal-producing states like West Virginia shows that the idea of an eco-friendly use for the fossil fuel is far more misnomer than reality.
Source: AlterNet
Categories: News
If violence and constant mayhem is a sign of progress three years post-invasion, then Bush will be thrilled by what the future holds.
Source: AlterNet
Categories: News