Saturday, December 30, 2006

As a New York City boy who grew up in the Koch Era, it has been quite a spectacle to watch as he has gone from an out and out liberal to a full blown Neocon over the past two decades.

But at this point he has simply lost his mind. You want proof, here is a quote from the other day:

George Bush is a hero to me because he has courage. The president does what he believes to be in the best interest of the United States. He sticks with his beliefs, no matter how intense the criticism and invective that are directed against him every day.
The guy was always an asshole, but at least he used to be an asshole with inspiring politics. Now, he is, very simply, an asshole.

My old friend Noah Shachtman has a blog on defense issues,, which is witty, interesting and comes at these issues from a progressive direction.

Noah has posted his top twenty most popular blog posts from 2006--and in light of all going on in Iraq, Iran and everywhere else in the world where The Duke of Kennebunkport has performed much like Mike Tyson behind the wheel, I recommend you go check it out for some holiday fun!

Friday, December 29, 2006

The news on CNN is that Saddam has been hung. Just to remind you, he is the really bad guy that had NOTHING to do with 9/11.

The guy that did (bin what's his name?), and his second in command (Ayman somebody or other), well, they're still out there putting out more videotapes that Paris Hilton with a dog collar and a gram of coke.

So, you know, I feel safer, do you?

I couldn't say it any better than my pal Sean-Paul does at The Agonist regarding Iran. Don't we have enough going on right now, to, you know, not jump into another country whose population is almost 2.5 times the size of Iraq?

Even if you think it's the right thing to do (in which case you're wrong), take a look at the world and tell me it's the right time and our military and people are prepared for this RIGHT NOW.

Where are those darn clone armies when you need them...

A few people have captured what I was trying to say more generally--and probably didn't very well--in reaction to Edwards' presidential announcement speech. To hear a Democrat talk openly about poverty and universal healthcare feels miles away from where we were in 2004. I think that the latter should be a requirement for any Democrat to get support.

Frankly, our healthcare system right now is about as secure as Mel Gibson with a 5th of bourbon on a Kibbutz. Incremental reform just ain't gonna do it anymore.

Edwards was also honest about the fact that his priorities mean that paying off the Dubya Debt, as it should be called, will not happen immediately (and generally I am a balanced budget hawk, taking what used to be known as the "fiscally conservative" position...I in fact would favor a Balanced Budget Amendment, if the legislation were right, to prevent future presidents from raiding surpluses as Bush did to hand over our treasury to his fellow corporate vassals. But right now, people need help, and the budget is too Bushed to be balanced immediately).

At the very least, this should all make things more interesting, as it changes the terms of the debate.

Check out what Bob, AJ at AMERICAblog and Steve have to say on this subject.

My mom does say I always do everything at the last minute...

I am going on Radio Agonist in 21...20 minutes. 6PM EST. Here is the live stream

Otherwise, if in South Texas, you can listen at KTSA 550 AM.

Joe Lieberman has got the be the stupidest fuckin person in the universe (well, not including current presidents and Republican senators whose names begin with McC) and perhaps the most dishonest.

See how many lies you can catch in this patently ridiculous piece in The Washington Post (I will get you started, he lays the blame for the insurgency at Iran's feet, because, you know, the thousands of Sunni insurgents there all take their marching orders from the Shia in Iran).

I promise I will have much more on this in my piece over at Americablog later today

Oh, and I love my friend Matt Browner Hamlin's take too. "Shorter Joe Lieberman: our long national nightmare must go on!"

God how I long for Senator Ned Lamont....

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I found Edwards' announcement speech interesting and find myself in agreement with the inestimable Atrios. It seems to me that Edwards was speaking more like the leader of a movement, than simply a campaign.

This is important to me, as movement building on the right is what has saddled us with the fringe Morlocks still running the executive branch and Supreme Court these days (not to mention many state and local governments). And it is what can bring this country back to its Golden Era of progressive public policy, which reigned supreme from the 1930s-1970s (with Vietnam and the filibusters of Civil Rights legislation during this time duly noted).

Progressives need to think long term, not just about this next election. Edwards seems to be on that track.

** Also like Atrios says in this piece--while many of you know I am intrigued by Edwards--when I defend a candidate against right-wing smears or say something nice about another one, it doesn't necessarily mean I have chosen to support any single candidate. (although there are a few I know I can't support in the Democratic primaries, but I'll let you guess who they are). If I choose to go with one horse, you'll be among the first to know

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Do you want to know what's going in in public policy? Well, do ya punk? Then go read DMI's end of the year public policy report. It's got all the goodies you'd otherwise miss!

Apparently somebody found my take on Gerald Ford and the Republican Party interesting. I will be going on KIRO Radio in Seattle in about a half hour (12:35 AM EST).

If you are not in the area, go to here and you just may be able to find a way to live stream

RIP Gerald Ford And Moderate Republicanism

Why do I say that? As many of you know who pay any attention to what comes out of my big mouth, I am not given to false sentiments. So if it were, say, Rush Limbaugh, I would most likely yawn.

No, I offer this small tribute because while I disagreed with Ford on many issues (Nixon, for example), when he led the GOP was a time when sane people were in charge of that party. People you could do business with on issues like civil rights and clean water.

It was also a time of Republican foreign policy internationalism with an emphasis on diplomacy, in the wake of the dreadful mistake of Vietnam. Most importantly, a willingness to meet in the actual political middle, not some false center that Joe Lieberman invented in his patently dishonest noggin.

I can't remember where I saw this, so I am unable to link, but there was an analysis done that showed that Ford's judicial picks were actually to the left of Clinton's, (unlike current Republican judges, like THIS IDIOT). Ford supported the ERA, the right to choose in most instances and affirmative action. You get the point.

I didn't love the man, but I did respect him and do mourn his passing. For it is a perfect metaphor for the death of moderate Republicanism, which just as surely met its Maker on November 7th, 2006, at the hands of a band of corrupt and right-wing neoconservative pseudo-thinkers, retrograde fundamentalist science-haters and venal corporate-humpers.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Poor, poor bugman. Even conservatives hate his ass now. They're gonna love him in lockup though...

Monday, December 25, 2006

If you didn't catch the FDL Book Salon last night and want to check out the conversation, here it is.

I agree with Bob here. Washington columnists just never seem to learn with this stuff. To say the Democratic race is over, with Hillary and Obama being the only contenders, just belies history.

Overall, I like Dan Balz' writing and think this piece is well worth a read. But does Balz remember where Clinton and Carter, the last two Democratic presidents, were at this point in 1992 and 1976? Does he remember how a guy named Reagan almost knocked off a sitting president in 1976 in the primaries, and how Gary Hart looked like he could go all the way (in more ways than one) in 1988? How about the McCain surprise in 2000 (different than the more recent McCain surprise, that he is Bush in Arizona drag) or the fact that the race was Howard Dean's to lose in 2004?

I could give many more examples, but I think you get the picture. Rarely has there been a race where it was a foregone conclusion who the party nominee was, not even with Bush Sr. as the incumbent in 1992 (anybody remember Pat Buchanan's New Hampshire "surge?"). There is still opposition research to be done, commercials to air and many mistakes to be made.

Looking at this field, you have a great primary schedule and a lot of charisma in Edwards, a strong netroots following and national security credentials in Clark and charisma and experience in federal government and as an executive in Richardson. And that is only a few of the top contenders.

Anyone who tells you where this thing is going is being dishonest or is simply mistaken (I think the latter in Balz' case).

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Once again, I'll be hosting a book salon over at Firedoglake today at 5PM EST, where my friend Jen Abrahamson will be live to answer any and all questions regarding her new book, Sweet Relief: The Marla Ruzicka Story. Come on by if you can.

Also, I can't believe I forgot until now to link to this past week's Republican Sexcapades on The Young Turks...I thought it was one of the best we've done, if I may be so bold.

Finally, go check out my AMERICAblog piece this week. It's the one year anniversary of my first weekly satirical piece there. So I put up the original unaltered. It might depress you how little has changed...