Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I am Thankful.

I am thankful for both my arms and legs (as I am for the rest of my body unravaged by IED's, mortar shells, or anything else being hurled at Our soldiers , their soldiers, and everybody else in war).

I'm thankful for living here in the United States and not in Iraq, where civilian casualties are at new highs.

I'm thankful the lights turn on when I flip the switch, though candlelight might be nice.

Thankful for the stocked shelves at vegetable markets, bodegas, and supermarkets. (It would be nice if it didn't turn up in the trash quite so much)

I'm thankful for the roof over my head, and for the opportunities, to earn the money to pay the rent, given to me as a white guy from a middle class background.

I'm thankful for friends and family, who put up with me and all of my ranting.

I'm thankful that there is at least the prospect of checks and balances offered by a legislative branch of government now that the Democrats won Congress.

Thankful for the Freedom to say that bush is a turkey of a president, who people seem to like less than they did his father.

I'm thankful for those willing to stand up against Goliath, whatever form he may take.

I'm thankful that Thanksgiving still exists depite the fact that department stores, easy listening radio, and surbuban lawns everywhere are already on Christmas.

Thankful for the internet machine, keeping us connected and servin' as the new millenium soapbox.

I'm thankful for you all.

Have a Happy Turkey Day!

For a little darker meat check out Burroughs's 1986Thanksgiving Prayer -

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Accountability and Governance

The Democrats have a heckuva job cut out for them starting in January. The job has two fronts, accountability and governance. The people who were responsible for the false evidence (i.e. forged Niger doc's) and its dissemination, misleading the public during the administration's rush to war in Iraq, need to be held accountable. The people responsible for the millions, if not billions, of dollars missing and/or handed out in no bid and unfinished contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq need to be held accountable. The government officials that have committed crimes, abused their power, or covered for their colleagues' actions need to be held accountable. The people who allowed "energy"companies to write "energy" policy and "drug" companies to write the prescription drug bill need to be held accountable. For these lapses in judgment and others, there needs to be hearings and investigations that have teeth and put officials, including the president and vice president, UNDER OATH. For most of these transgressions, the buck should stop squarely at the Oval Office. That is not to say that Articles of Impeachment should be presented to the House right away, but if the hearings necessary to re instill trust in Our government lead to the president or those he has appointed, then impeachment or censure may follow.

It is important however for the Democrats to be bigger than the republicans have been for the past 6 years. Not only do they need to investigate who fouled up, lied, and misled us, but they have to do so while finding solutions to the mess the president and his minions have gotten us into. They are going to need to be open to discussion among their own party and across the aisle (something the reds refused to do). The "you're either with us or you're against" attitude must be put to bed, as should the un-American "a vote for their party is a vote for the terrorists".

On Iraq, "Cut and run" was never a solution put out by the Democrats. It was just another fear mongering catch phrase from the propagandists who brought you "Mission Accomplished", "Shock and Awe", and "Stay the Course". The Baker-Hamilton Iraq Group, who met with the president on Monday, will more than likely give options that Washington will wrap themselves around, much like the 911 Commission that Hamilton co-chaired (a commission whose recommendations may actually be fully implemented now that the Democrats run Congress). A unified democratic government in Iraq does not seem feasible at this point. Some are suggesting that it be split up into three ethnic divisions with a national government overseeing and dividing up the oil revenue. That may be all we can hope for at this point, though it may not solve the sectarian clashes we see more and more everyday. I do think it is a better option than Senator McCain's "send 20,000 more troops".

The Democratic party is diverse, from "blue dogs" to progressives. Some are trying to spin the election as a victory for only conservative and moderate democrats, but to be a party of the people means you have to have the differing voices of a diverse American public. We saw what making policies for only a "base" has done over the past six years. That time is over. For those of us still calling for blood immediately, why not focus solely on hacks like coulter and limbaugh, or on fox news, whose recently leaked memo shows a REAL BIAS in the media.

I smile at the spin of the November 7th losers who are trying their best to convince Democrats of Democrat infighting. It's important not to give them any credence. It has only been nine days since the election, and there is going to be a lot of discussion on a variety of issues from party leadership to Iraq to ethics reform. Some issues like the drilling in ANWR and the privatizing of Social Security, are most likely off the table all together, while issues like raising the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour are on. Regardless of the issue, once in power, the Democrats need to do what the republicans in Congress have not done for the past six years. They need to govern, and govern for the common good. It's time to put policy before politics, and people before party. The smallest of nudges in this direction would make last Tuesday worth it, beyond just putting the breaks on an out of control executive and its soon to be ex-rubber stamp legislative branch.

For those of us on the winning side of the election, Hells Yeah! We kicked their asses. The Democrats did not lose one, democratically held or open, governorship, seat in the House, or seat in the Senate to the republican side. And to the deflated reds, here's a message from Michael Moore titled "A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives".

Friday, November 10, 2006

And the Good News Keeps on Coming!

The good news for the Democrats just keeps on coming, as Allen concedes Virginia, giving the Democrats control (by one and with two Independents caucusing with them) of The United States Senate.

More thoughts on what this means and what the Democrats can and should do with their new found power later.

For now, Have a Great Weekend and GO RUTGERS!!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Can you hear the dissent, Mr. President?

Or do you want us to turn it.... Up?

Tuesday's vote was a clear and unmistakable message from the people of the United States of America that a new direction for Our Country is needed, that the president needs to be held in check and accountable for his policies and actions, and that the supposed "genius" of karl rove, the robo calling and other election day malfesance of republicans, and the "your vote doesn't matter" attitude can all be overcome by the power of the people. Through the hard work of people like Howard Dean, Rahm Emanuel, bloggers, netrooters, and countless people who texted, emailed, canvassed, and called people to get out the vote on election day, a voice was heard round the world. And that voice was Ours. Not only did the Democrats win the House, at least tie the Senate, and expand their majorities among Governors and state legislatures, but they also knocked out ten and twelve term incumbents in the process. The abortion ban in South Dakota was defeated. The ban on same sex marriage in Arizona was defeated, and Missouri voted to back stem cell research (thank you rush limbaugh). The number three red in the Senate was knocked on his "man on dog" ass in Pennsylvania. The exiled tom delay's seat went Democrat. Page lover Foley's seat went democrat, and for the first time in a long time there are Democratic Governors in Ohio and Massachusetts. It was a referendum on Iraq, on corruption, and on fear mongering. The red clouds parted to reveal a blue sky (sorry, i'm still a little giddy).

The first one under the bus is rumsfeld, who resigned today. Rumsfeld has presided over bush's failed policies in the execution of the neo-con war of choice in Iraq. This is a major concession for the president who does not admit mistakes, because of an arrogance, which seems to be shared by all the yes men and women he surrounds himself with. The rejection he feels today must be overwhelming. It is a major reality check for a president and party who felt it unneccesary to even consult the minority party. A party so focused on the base that it lost its moderates. A wake up call for an administration who thought that slandering the messenger and stifling dissent were the only ways to deal with those who disagree with them. Now they must deal with the opposition if they want to get anything done. Now they have to be bi-partisan. What karl rove once called the "permanent republican majority" is gone. In its place, possible Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Chairman of Goverment Reform Henry Waxman, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee John Murtha and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee John Conyers. What a difference an election makes.

The new buzz word from the White House..... bipartisan, only this time they're gonna have to mean it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Holy Crap!!!!

Well the Blue Wave claimed 27 House seats that once were red, claiming the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years. As of right now (1:15pm, 11/8) the Democrats have taken 5 formerly red Senate seats to tie the Senate, with only Virginia to be recounted (the latest count has Democrat Jim Webb ahead). Six Governor seats were picked up by Democrats to increase their majority (Massachusetts has its first Dem. Governor in over ten years), not to mention the State legislatures across the country that went blue. My favorite victory was Senator-Elect Casey's win over Uber-bush backing conservative rick santorum in Pennsylvania. Kenneth blackwell's defeat for Governor of Ohio was pretty sweet too, as was Senator-Elect Brown victory over soon to be ex-senator dewine. Blackwell was the secretary of state in Ohio that called 2004 for bush as that campaign started.

And now RUMSFELD RESIGNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Goose Bumps. Singin' in the Rain. Can't stop smiling. More on this all later when I come down off of cloud nine!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tomorrow is Election Day!

There are 435 House races, 33 Senate races, and a slew for Governer tomorrow. The Democrats need to pick up 15 House seats and 6 Senate seats from the republicans to win back both Houses of Congress and begin to re-establish the legislative branch as an equal branch the of Our goverment.

If you don't know for sure where your polling place is check here. For New Jersey, specifically, check here. Make sure you use the address you are REGISTERED as a voter at.

If you're not sure if you're registered (it's a little late now) you can call your County Registrar to check.

Bring your ID/Driver's License to the polls tomorrow. Just in case.

If you want to "do more than vote" tomorrow to help the Democrats' cause, go here.

Don't forget to Vote! It's the only thing we got, and some question even that.

Bring a friend, call/text everyone in your cell phone, email your address book and tell them to vote. We still are a DEMOCRATIC republic. Let's keep it that way.

Voting. It's the "patriotic" thing to do.

Vote These Rubbersatmp Bums Out!!!!!

"Let us Begin" - JFK

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Get Ready, Get Set....

Nevermind the war games going on in Iran this week, did you hear 2004's biggest loser botched a bad joke? How about the morally corrupt President of the National Association of Evangelicals resigning over monthly relations with a gay prostitute? Is that what the evangelical gwb is talking about? Is he talking about Iraq? Working families? The rising cost of living? Stagnant wages? Health Care? No the campaigner in chief is out there telling us that voting for democrats is voting for terrorists. How incredibly UN-AMERICAN. How completely proposterous. This "let's break it so we have to fix and pay for it" administration is as incompetent in its prosecution of its own unneccesary war as it was in it's four days late reponse to Katrina. Bush played guitar as people drowned. Condi bought shoes. Bush left vacation for the Terry Schiavo fiasco, but stayed while the poor Louisianans scrawled "Help Us" on their rooftops.

As Keith Olbermann again so eloquently put it "Mr. Bush, you are not the United States of America" when joining the call for the president to apologize to the troops for putting them in harm's way without even so much as an exit strategy, not to mention actual hard evidence warranting an invasion. I guess he'll apologize when the republican Senate Majority Leader, who blamed the generals on the ground while defending the fantastic job of donald rumsfeld, does.

The United States of America has chance to show the president how real Mr. Olbermann's sentiment is. The election on Tuesday is a National one. In 1996 and 2000 I could argue all night, the reasons behind a non vote or a vote for a candidate more particularly in line with my progressive beliefs. This election is about ensuring that there are checks and balances on the executive branch of Our THREE BRANCH government. This administration has aggressively trimmed the once equal legislative and judicial branches. The rubber stamp republicans have given the executive a blank check to use the strength of Our military at his and only his discretion, doing away with Declarations of War. A person can be jailed, treated in any inhumane way attorney general gonzales sees fit, for as long as the administration wants to detain them, all on the bush created distinction of "enemy combatant" that the president can bestow as he sees fit. Think about it, you get put on a list by mistake or say the wrong thing in the wrong place, and boom. When can you defend yourself, when will you see the now admittable hearsay evidence they "have" against you? This is not American. They question my partiotism, as the Rude Pundit recently put it "Fuck Them". Keep in mind Sunday's Saddam verdict/November surprise. You think bushco. had a hand in that timetable? Maybe it was a trade off for the Iraqi government forcing US troops to leave a soldier behind in Sadr City, Iraq. Oh Iraq, what a mess.

Now I don't know if the popular vote matters (Democrats in congress already represent more people than republicans), I don't know about all these glitches they are already finding in voting machines, and I know they cheated/gerrymandered their way to victory in the past. But the public's sentiment is changing. They are starting to feel betrayed, lied to, and fed up with an unending war and an economy strong with the "investor class" and weak on the "working class", not to mention the poor. There is a reason that Democrats are using images of bush in their ads and republicans aren't. There is a reason Democrats are talking about Iraq in their ads and the republicans aren't. The republicans have failed. All they have to campaign on is fear and false claims.

On Tuesday November 7, Vote for a check on this out of control executive branch. Vote out the rubber stamp of a republican led congress that are afraid to question the president. Vote for a new vision. Vote for the Common Good. Vote Democrat right down the line. We'll clean Our House after we start cleaning theirs.

Feel free to reproduce and distribute this wherever and to whomever you want.