Friday, March 28, 2008

turds in my inbox 

Subject: 60 votes to win
Date: 3/19/2008 6:46 AM

Dear MoveOn member,

It’s happened again and again this year, on every issue we care about. Iraq. Health care. The climate crisis. Strong bills have sailed through the US House, only to stall in the face of Republican obstruction in the Senate. Republicans are on pace to double the Congressional record for the most filibusters.

Here’s the good news: Republicans are defending 23 Senate seats next year, compared to just 12 for the Democrats. Democrats could gain as many as 60 seats in the Senate, enough to break Republican filibusters and usher in a new era of progressive reform.

We’ve got a plan to take advantage of every seat that’s in play, make even more races competitive, and create a progressive majority that will last for a generation. But it’s going to take sustained support from you to pull it off and there’s no time to waste. Can you contribute $15 per month (you can cancel at any time) from now through Election Day?

Last year, the Senate Republicans obstructed numerous bills including stalling health insurance for the children who need it most and blocking a time-line to bring the troops home from Iraq.

Now look at some of the proposals from the Democratic presidential candidates that will almost certainly take 60 votes in the Senate to pass:

No more blank checks in Iraq


Bogus. From FAIR:

In fact, if the Democrat-controlled Congress wanted to force the Bush administration to accept a bill with a withdrawal timeline, it didn't have to pass the bill over Bush's veto—it just had to make clear that no Iraq War spending bill without a timeline would be forthcoming. Given that the Constitution requires Congress to approve all spending, Bush needs Congress's approval to continue the war—Congress does not need Bush's approval to end the war.

Democrats may not have wanted to pay the supposed political costs of such a strategy, but...this was a choice, not something forced on them by the lack of a veto-proof majority.

MoveOn: shitting in your mouth and calling it a sundae since...since whenever it was they started lying to you to get you to the polls.

Note to MoveOn: Stick with 'McCain will make it worse' instead of 'Democrats will make it better'. You'll get a similar electoral outcome without completely shredding your integrity. You might find this useful a few years into the Dem presidency when America is collectively smacking its forehead that the war continues and you are facing declining membership because the rank-and-file suspects you're just a bunch of power-hungry Party whores. People are going to be very upset when your candidates don't deliver. Your apologetics are going to look feeble if anyone bothers to compare them to your past promises. Best to start thinking ahead.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


hat tip (or maybe curses?) Dave

"best 9 seconds on the internet" 

memo to people i talk to in daily life 

If I run into another well-intentioned American who tells me we can't leave Iraq because the resultant chaos will be bad for the Iraqis, I'm going to put a gun in my mouth.

NO ONE, not even the most 'Troops Out Now' shouting dreadlocked pinko is advocating we just pull up stakes and airlift all the GI's out in the next 24 hours. One of the "good" things about the current situation is that there's still some minimal room to leave voluntarily and strategically before we're driven out Vietnam-style. As Spencer puts it:

Withdrawing without any political strategy, as the British did from Basra, leads to a vacuum like the one we're seeing now. Sadr rushes in. The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq rushes in. The Fadhila party maneuvers between the two. Forces ostensibly loyal to the government, pinioned between all sides, find ways to accommodate the existing power on the streets. In other words: chaos.

So to avoid chaos -- and I recognize this is banal and generic -- you can't just pull up stakes. Some sort of political accommodation has to occur alongside a strategy of extrication. There will be some good suggestions coming out of various think tanks and government offices over the next several months that put flesh to bone here. But the broader point is this: if we decide we're just going to order the post-surge forces out of Iraq in X number of months/years, and nothing accompanies that decision on the political-diplomatic end, then yeah, Basra probably will be a prologue. But if we spend the time between now and then -- say, a new Democratic president's Inaugural -- working on some Undefined Diplomatic Strategy, then we have our best shot -- and it's not a sure shot; I'll be the first to admit -- at extracting ourselves with a minimum of chaos.

Now, this is true unless, like Sen. John McCain and President George W. Bush, you believe we should stay in Iraq forever. But if you don't, then you indeed have to grapple with this conundrum. There are no guarantees. There are no good answers. There are no grounds for certainty. That's what makes it a quagmire. But you don't have the luxury of throwing your hands up in despair and pleading that complexity should bring apoplexy. That's why it's called statesmanship.

And that is precisely what is meant by "Troops Out Now".

Now obviously, as Spencer elaborates upon elsewhere, Bush/McCain driven foreign-policy has zero intention of leaving. Ever.

But anyone advocating that we don't get the fuck out immediately is playing into their hands. To the extent that you buy the "argument" that leaving is worse (for Iraqis) than staying, you're siding with the forces that will pressure an Obama or Hillary presidency to stay in Iraq and taking away from any forces that will pressure them to leave. You are participating in the war effort. You're not being realistic. You're not being humane. You're not being 'serious' or 'reasonable'. You're being played for a sucker. Again. Cut it out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Something on the lighter side 

Here's a brand-new viral vid making the rounds. You don't have to be up on every recent craze in the viral world (the laughing baby, the German kid shrieking at the dramatic chipmunk, "I'm f--king Matt Damon") to get it, but it wouldn't hurt. Nevertheless, the clip makes a point that probably means a lot to a growing number of people/voters.

Breaking: Lewinsky-Clinton blowjobs still happened 

This is something Hillary Clinton, her team, and her supporters are going to have to reckon with eventually. Although the limitations of current technology make it extremely difficult for us to revisit the past and assess any changes that may have taken place to a given moment that has ceased to be occurring in the present, all indicators suggest that it is still the case that Monica Lewinsky gave President Bill Clinton a series of blowjobs in the 1990s at his workplace, the White House. And it still seems to be the case that around 1998 the entire nation became aware of this.

Thus, this facet of what we call "the past" is likely to "resurface" during the 2008 election campaign, just as has happened with equally irrelevant and irksome episodes from the "past" of Barack Obama and other candidates.

Here's Chelsea Clinton today, responding to such a question.

Campaigning in Indianapolis for her mother, Chelsea Clinton had a quick retort when asked a question she had never had before. When a male student asked her if her mother's credibility had been hurt during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton quickly responded.

"Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question, in the, maybe 70 college campuses that I've been to," Clinton bitterly said at Butler University. "And I don't think that's any of your business."

The students gathered to see Clinton quickly erupted into applause. Clinton took one more question, on global warming, and then wrapped up the event.

Why so angry? Did the Clintons really think they were going to get a free pass on this all the way through the general election? If Obama has to address some remark made by a church pastor with a 37-minute speech, and if McCain has to stand up with his weird-looking wife and bluster about not exchanging favors for sex with a lobbyist or not having a black lovechild, etc., then what -- Hillary and Bill don't have to address this one?

Sorry, but it's going to be an issue in the general election. Is it disgusting and vile to raise it as an issue? Yes, sure, just as it was disgusting and vile to leak a picture of Obama in a turban or peddle cherry-picked excerpts of his pastor's sermons to the press (as Hillary's campaign did in each case). Anyone who thinks she won't have to deal with this is living in a dream world.

There are dozens of angles of attack and so far Clinton has faced none of them. What does this episode say about Hillary's judgment of character? Did she stay with him simply out of ambition, and if so, does that make her the kind of person that an "average voter" can "relate to"? Will Bill continue to philander as First Dude, thereby making a mockery of both the White House and our first Lady President? Will the Clintons expose themselves to blackmail by a foreign power? Etc., etc., etc., etc.

What will her response be?

How can anyone say Hillary Clinton has been "vetted"?


Look who Hillary's hanging out with now!

Who's that?  Why, it's Richard Mellon Scaife!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What's that I smell? 

The NYTimes test: can the only credible newspaper in the United States actually be a piece of shit?


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