Saturday, November 11, 2006

Going on MSNBC tomorrow at 4:00 EST.

For now the topic is The Iraq Study Group (also known as a way for Bush to cover his ass after planning a for battle as successfully as the French at Dien Bien Phu).

Check it out if you can...

My good friend Steve Benen over at The Carpetbagger Report has exactly the right take on Karl Rove's increasingly desperate statements. The eternal sack of sebum himself, who is so greasy he makes oil jealous, is "taking solace in Lieberman's win in Connecticut."

So that is what this onetime supposed Rasputin is reduced to, after taking the post-9/11 90% approval rating for his guy and turning it into a 31% approval rating and an ass-kicking in the midterms that is unprecedented, in that the Republicans did not pick up a single Democratic Congressional seat (additionally on the state legislative level the Republicans were crushed). He is excited that an independent that will caucus with the Democrats beat a real Democrat.

You must be so proud Karl. Although there is still time to out another undercover agent or two if you act quickly.

Pathetic Loser

Go-ing Downnnnnnn

Bush at 31% according to Newsweek. Has he expended his political capital yet?

Another post from our favorite political consultant, Brett:

Since Tuesday, I've watched as the leading lights and dimmest bulbs in the Republican Party (ed: Is there a difference?) explained to us what did not cause them to lose on Tuesday.

Ann Coulter took time away from committing voter fraud to call the gains made by the Democrats "pathetic" and stated that the public supports the Republican stance on the Iraq war. And yes, I agree, it is definitely time to up her dosage.

Karl Rove said Iraq was a hindrance, but Connecticut's support for Lieberman shows that the American people reject withdrawing from Iraq. I'm sure Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons agree with that assessment.

And good old Rehab Rush said "it wasn't conservatism that lost," while George Will argued that Republicans "were punished not for pursuing but for forgetting conservatism.". So conservatism didn't lose, just dyed-in-the-wool conservatives like Rick Santorum, George Allen and J.D. Hayworth lost. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Truthfully, all four of these comments, though laughable on their face, contain an element of truth. The Republicans didn't take a beating solely because of their Iraq policy or because of a political philosophy; they lost because their performance flat-out sucked. Whether it was Katrina, Iraq, Harriet Miers, ethics, the budget or passing legislation, the Republicans proved to possess much of the same talent that has made K-Fed such a rising star.

Hopefully, Republicans will continue to cling to the notion that a change in rhetoric or policy will cure what ails them. But we, like Britney, know better.

Friday, November 10, 2006

In addition to the fact that Republicans were slaughtered there on election day, for this reason alone you just gotta love the state from which my wife hails...

Markos has a great post over at DailyKos--maybe you've heard of it--looking at the Senate races in 2008. This is one reason why it was so key to do what we did this year in the Senate races (besides putting the breaks on John Bolton's ever-expanding evil milk mustache)--because we can literally blow them out in 2008.

There will be many vulnerable Republicans up for reelection, from Norm "white teeth" Coleman in Minnesota to Mitch "stuff more money in my pants" McConnell in Kentucky to potential open seats in Maine (if Susan Collins lives up to her two-term pledge), Virginia and other spots (let's see how Republicans like being in the minority--I expect a few retirements).

If conditions remain right, a big if, we could run the table and pick up an additional 6 seats and possible more...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My friend Duncan Black of Atrios fame was nice enough to put up my MSNBC appearance today on YouTube. Go check it out.

Also go check out Republican Sexcapades from this morning on The Young Turks on Air America.

My friend Brett, a political operative in DC who will soon start to write here more regularly, sent me his evaluation of the 2006 midterms and general state of the Democratic Party today. I agree with pretty much everything he has to say (even though I am personally a gun control proponent, I understand the necessities of building a majority out West). In any case, see what you think, and do let us know.

As the mainstream media starts their annual election post-mortem, the cliche du jour (I apologize for all the French in advance), is that both parties need to race towards the center to maintain power. As hard as this is to believe, this shallow analysis is both wrong and misdirected. The Democrats ought to ignore the media platitudes about moving to the middle. Instead, they should listen to Horace Greeley, and "Go West."

Specifically, the Democrats ought to look at the results out West, in places like Colorado, Montana, Arizona and even Wyoming. For years, the Democratic Party was moribund in these areas. That was partly due to a lack of quality candidates, but also due to the fact that Democrats kept telling these people that we knew what was good for them. We told them they shouldn't play with guns, and they told us to stick it where the sun don't shine, or as we say in New York, fuck off. And so it went.

But as the Republican Party became more of a Southern Party, basically the political arm of the Pat Robertson-types, something started to change in the West. Republicans started to tell these folks what they should and shouldn't do. Whether it was regulating sexual mores, deciding the right to die, or even drug regulations, the Republicans in Washington seemed intent on telling Westerners how they should live their lives. And Tuesday, the West sent back their reply.

Montana, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming all have recently elected Democratic Governors. Montana has two Democratic Senators. Two House seats in Arizona switched from Republican to Democrat and it became the first state to reject a ballot measure to ban gay marriage. Hell, the Republicans had to spend money to protect a seat in Idaho (no really, that Idaho).

The Democratic Party needs to embrace this new strain of libertarianism in order to become a permanent majority. That means embracing a more limited view of government, and keeping the government out of our personal lives. For the most part, Democrats are okay with that philosophy. We believe individuals have the right to do make decisions about their own body, be it the right to die or the right to choose. But this also means leaving thorny political issues, such as gun control, up to the states. It is that battle, more than any other, that will decide whether Democrats continue their progress in the West.

I'm not the only person who has recognized this switch. Tom Schaller, one of the smartest men on our side of the aisle, has written about this in his new book, Whistling Past Dixie. Andrew Sullivan, on his blog, has theorized about the rise of Goldwater Democrats. Markos, over at Daily Kos, has spoken of the new "Libertarian Democrat." They may be different people, but the lesson is the same, if the Democrats want to maintain their hold on power, they need to "Go West."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Tomorrow will be a day filled with much media fun. My schedule you ask?

(All times are EST)

8:00 AM - Young Turks segment on Republican Sexcapades. They lost control of both houses - And nothing cures depression like committing an act in private you would publicly outlaw

10:30 AM - MSNBC Live. We talk about what the election means. I probably hurl a gratuitious insult at Republicans because it's kinda fun.

3:30PM - Bill Mazer radio progam in New York on WVOX. You can listen if in range or online at

That concludes our irregularly scheduled broadcast

We won.

Yeah, I just thought I'd say that because it still sounds kinda cool.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cliff says goodbye to Rick Santorum.

Just a reminder, I'm guest posting at Crooks & Liars tonight. Go check it out.

Tomorrow should be interesting. I am going on Al Jazeera at 11AM EST to speak to the viewers in London, Kuala Lumpur and Doha, Qatar about the midterms here. Assuming the Bushies don't bomb the DC Bureau (see Kabul), I should return sometime afterwards to describe the experience.

Two Crucial Under-The-Radar Races

While we have all been thinking about the Senate and House, there are elections taking place that will be just as important in deciding our future.

For example two in Ohio. Sherrod Brown and Ted Strickland you say? Well, they are both fantastic candidates, but those races are done deals unless the GOP steals them in broad daylight. Because that is what it would take to erase leads of 30 and 20 points, respectively (as for Ted Strickland, I will write another piece here in the future discussing how he is the perfect new face for the Democratic Party).

No I am talking about Jennifer Brunner and Mark Dann. You haven't heard of them you say, well now you have. Brunner, the former deputy director of the Ohio Secretary of State's office when Sherrod Brown held the position, an experienced judge and former attorney for the Ohio AFL-CIO is leading in her race to become Ohio Secretary of State. While Mark Dann, who as a state senator sued the corrupt Taft Adminstration--which is more unpopular than the Ebola Virus--is also ahead in his race to become Ohio Attorney General. But they are not yet over the finish line.

Both of their opponents, Greg Hartmann (for SoS) and Betty Montgomery (for AG) come from the corrupt Taft Machine, that has seen Governor Taft convicted of graft and a top Republican fundraiser, Tom Noe, go to jail for "misplacing" rare coins in which he chose to invest Workers' Compensation funds (I am sure he misplaced them all the way into a bank account in the Grand Caymans). Hartmann also assisted lunatic current Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell, in his jihad to purge poor and minority voters in 2004. Montgomery supported the virulently anti-gay state constitutional amendment (that even Taft, DeWine and other conservatives opposed)...while living with...let's call them...some self-loathing issues.

We must never have the Blackwells and Katherine Harris', people actually crazier than an Edgar Allan Poe character, running our electoral machinery again. What happens in Ohio will effect the entire country, as perhaps the most important swing state.

And what will happen if we elect Brunner and Dann? Well we'll have people of the utmost integrity in positions that are important to the health of our republic, for one. Let me quote future AG Mark Dann for you, to try and explain: "...let me be clear. When I am Attorney General there will be a new sheriff in town in Ohio. If Karl Rove himself comes to Ohio to commit an election violation I will put him in jail."

So make sure you get out there and call, knock, poll-watch and do whatever necessary to make sure we win these two seats. We have fantastic Democrats we can be proud of. And the alternatives may lead us to another banana-republic election in 2008.

Two Morally Blind Republican Mice

As we reach this last weekend before the election, Democrats have reason to be sanguine, while Republicans resemble the Australians in the classic movie On The Beach.

But we've all seen this particular movie before, so it would be wise not to get overconfident when taking on a party whose average candidate has the scruples of a member of the Gambino family. In that spirit, I would like to discuss two Senate races, each of which could go either way on Tuesday and are crucial because of how dangerous the Republican incumbents are to the future health of this republic.

These two races, where the foibles of the Republicans have largely gone under the radar, are those of incumbent Republican lunatics Jon Kyl of Arizona and Jim Talent of Missouri. These are men who lie like Angelina Jolie adopts children. They both receive failing grades on middle class issues from the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy. And both are now in dead-heat races with Democratic challengers.

In the case of Senator Kyl, I have it information from an insider that internal polls taken by his Democratic challenger Jim Pederson, show the race down to a 3-4 point Kyl lead. With a civi war in former Congressman Jim Kolbe's district, where the retiring Republican Congressman has refused to endorse the extremist GOPer running for his seat, a brewing scandal in another seat held by Republican shady-land-dealer Rick Renzi and Congressman J.D. Hayworth offering praise for conspiratorial anti-Semitic theories espoused by Henry Ford, which he now applies to his anti-immigrant zeal, things aren't so good for the Arizona GOP. Additionally, a very popular Democrat, Janet Napolitano, is running for reelection as the state's top executive.

So there is reason to believe Democrats will have a turnout advantage (and in early voting Pederson leads by 4 points). But here is anything you can do to help defeat the maniac Kyl, you should.

Let's start with the fact that when President Bush was up for reelection in 2004, Kyl voted with him 100% of the time. Yes, you read that right, 100%. A rhesus monkey would have been more pensive as a US Senator. Then there is Kyl's blatant dishonesty, zest for finding ways to send American troops into harm's way, abandonment of senior citizens at the behest of Big Pharmaceuticals and a civil rights record that matches George Allen's.

Kyl is already infamous for the fact that he literally inserted a debate THAT NEVER OCCURRED into the Congressional Record to try and unduly influence the Supreme Court decision on the Hamdan case. This was done to help his 100% friend President Bush of course. He has also voted to roll back laws protecting Medicare patients against overcharging by physicians. Read that again for a second.

Kyl proposed has proposed legislation allowing doctors to refuse to treat Medicare patients. When in Congress he was one of only 8 Congressman in a chamber of 435 to vote against Meals on Wheels for the elderly. He also strongly opposes stem cell research. Yeah, he's a swell guy.

Kyl opposed the creation of a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Arizona. And when people wondered whether it would hurt tourism in Arizona due to boycotts, his response was, "Let them go someplace else. . . . We've got much too nice a place to worry about attracting people to the state." He has accused Native Americans of being too "dependent" on the government (this from a preppy jackass who works maybe 4 months out of the year, earns a six-figure tax-supported salary and gets guaranteed government healthcare).

Finally there is war. Kyl is for it. Anywhere. Anytime.

He still says he would vote the same way on Iraq, without weapons of mass destruction anywhere but inside Rick Santorum's tortured cerebrum and no connection to Al Qaeda (although moronic Congresswoman Anne Northup still thinks there is). In fact, with Joe Lieberman, he was responsible for resurrecting the Committee on the Present Danger, a Cold War propaganda organization that in this case was constantly calling for war in Iraq. As he now hopes for war in Iran, presumably to be fought with a clone army of some sort.

He doesn't like oversight much when it comes to war, however. In fact, Kyl was one of 19 senators in 2005 to vote against forcing the president submit a report to Congress every three months on U.S. policy and operations in Iraq. Because really, Congress doesn't want overstep its bounds and get involved in executive branch oversight.

Kyl doesn't like protecting troops either. He opposed the production of Humvees with stronger armor to help protect soldiers from roadside bombs. And he doesn't care much about protecting you. In 1997, Kyl opposed a treaty banning the use of chemical weapons. Which if we ever used would never, say, be used as retaliation against us.

Now do you understand why this lunatic needs to be to be sipping drinks with umbrellas with the local chapter of the Conservative Citizens Council and not eating in the Senate cafeteria?

Jim Talent is another special kind of man. He is against stem cell research, opposing a state ballot initiative in favor of it, after he was for it, after he was against it, and before he decided to have good buddy and fellow native Missourian Rush Limbaugh attack victims of Parkinson's Disease to hide his position (he would have criminalized it in a bill he co-sponsored with fellow nut Senator Brownback in 2005).

Maybe this issue, which is causing a civil war in Missouri's GOP, and Talent's waffling, are why Talent is currently behind State Auditor Claire McCaskill in polls, because she actually can spell the word principle (but this one is still way too close to call).

Talent views himself as independent, because he voted with President Bush only 94% of the time over four years. Which means he probably doesn't ask Bush for permission to use the head.

The law is also malleable to the Missouri Senator, who boosted a start-up company in Missouri, helping it to raise capital through the sale of unregistered securities. Um, that would be illegal senator (but what's a little Culture of Corruption between Republicans?).

Do you have a position on that? Nah, taking a position on something would break with protocol wouldn't it?

Talent has also consistently voted against the interests of working Americans, opposing raises in the minimum wage while supporting hikes in his own pay. Now he refuses to take a position on a state ballot initiative dealing with raising the minimum wage because that would be just a downright senatorial thing to do. Oh, and Talent just loves outsourcing Missouri jobs.

When it comes to the War in Iraq he has been a Bush appendage. He is cool with Rumsfeld staying on, because he has done such a bang up job. But I guess when you're Jim Talent, and you predicted a "two month war" in Iraq, and you're such a loon that you said there was a "stable environment" in Iraq after a 2004 trip there, one can't really expect you to present much in the way of judgment. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that he chose to skip 2/3 of Armed Service Committee hearings, so he didn't really have to pay much attention to Iraq at all.

I guess if Bush ever loses Barney, we know that in Missouri he can find his next obedient puppy.

These two dishonorable, self-interested, intellectual doorknobs are close to being returned to the US Senate. Whether you can make phone calls, volunteer on the ground or send a few last minute bucks to their opponents (that would be, once again, Jim Pederson and Claire McCaskill), let's all be confident we did whatever we could to stop them in their tracks.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Video from Cliff's appearance on MSNBC from November 5th:

After being called out by Cliff, Republican hack Brad Blakeman makes this face:

Going on MSNBC at 11:15 AM EST. With apologies to those who have made strong arguments for me to be nicer, I am in a rude kinda mood. But you'll just have to check in to see how much so...

My Weekly AMERICAblog piece:

The Week That Was 11/03/06

Another week. More preposterousness to report.

Well here we are on the precipice of GOP disaster. With the Republicans looking as out of sorts as a viciously anti-gay preacher caught keeping the company of a homosexual prostitute and Rush Limbaugh Rx caught in his teeth.

I know. How ever do I come up with such far-fetched metaphors?

I will keep this piece short, as I have an 18-day old baby on my lap. But as I look down at this little adorable guy who needs to be fed, changed and pretty much looks to adults for any and all guidance as he experiences the varied sensations of this new-fangled world, it makes me think:

So that’s what it was like when George W. Bush got to the White House.

Accept my kid has a heart. And some motor skills. And more of a clue of how to prevent “the enemy” from getting “nuculer” weapons.

But I guess by putting instructions for how to build an A-bomb online George Bush was making sure we’d have them make nuclear arsenals over there so they don’t do it over here. It makes sense if you think about it.

If you are a gay man-whore cradling, budget-vomiting, conglomerate-fingering, My-Pet-Goat-reading-level Republican. Because it takes that level of dumb to believe a president who is chock-full-of imbecile and has fought the War on Terror like he rides bikes can actually protect us.

But as always I digress.

As I look down at this little guy, I can only think one thing: Three weeks and one day. That is the limit for how long I want him to live under the unified control of this group of moral pyranhas who commit crimes with the frequency that Katherine Harris takes Lithium or Lynne Cheney goes through menopause on television.

We all really do have the power. Vote. Poll-watch. Knock on doors. Convince wavering friends.

Let’s give the Republicans the kind of slap on November 7th that they usually save for their wives, mistresses or random women in parking lots.

Let’s take our country back. My little boy is counting on it. As is something a bit older.

The U.S. Constitution.