Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One of many deceptive items Bush tried to sneak by in his SOTU speech was this $2 billion dedicated to clean energy technologies. $2 billion? This sum is equivalent to a fly on an elephant's rear-end. Even China spends $100 billion a year on environmental efforts. Oh, and this $2 billion is not per year but over three years -- woefully meager at best!

To further put this amount in perspective, lately Bush has worked himself into a tizzy about pork or earmarks. In the last seven years, Congress has included over 55,000 earmarks in spending bills which Bush readily signed and passed. Nearly all of those earmarks were under a GOP-controlled Congress. Only now, during this period of Dem-control, does GW have the sudden problem with pork. Hilarious. But as for that $2 billion for clean energy, note that the 55,000 pork projects amounted to over $100 billion, or 50x as much as what Bush is willing to dedicate to this environment fund (over three years, no less).

By the way, just as Bush is tossing out this paltry sum to the green crowd, his administration released a plan yesterday to open up Alaska's largest national forest for logging. Yes, 2.4 million pristine acres will be exposed to cutting. The plan will not net any revenues to the U.S. government, AND we taxpayers will foot the bill for paying for the creation of roads for the timber companies to access the forest. Thus, a plan is hatched to wreck the environment and it's a corporate subsidy to timber interests. Sounds about right.

But hey, how bout that $2 billion? What a guy!

Another example of a deceptive item: Bush said he's doubling the federal funding for AIDS overseas to $30 billion over the next five years. Uh, but as Dan Froomkin made clear, the existing funding is already at $6 billion a year, so over five years equals the proposed $30 billion -- no doubling. Also, the Dem-controlled Congress had an original amount of $50 billion proposed which Bush cut back to the $30 billion, or status quo.

Until 1/20/09, we have to put up with this BS....
From Steve Benen:
So, McCain has a secret plan to capture Osama bin Laden. He could share his secret plan with the White House, so it could be implemented now and the al Qaeda leader could be taken into custody before he can launch additional attacks, but McCain doesn’t want to. He has his “own ideas,” which presumably he won’t share — even in private, with the Commander in Chief — unless he’s elected.

I’m curious, does John McCain think we’re children?

I mean, really. If there are “certain policies and procedures” that could lead to OBL’s detention, and a president could implement those policies and procedures now, why wouldn’t McCain stop by the Oval Office for a chat with Bush about how best to proceed?

By McCain’s own reasoning, it sounds like he’d rather let bin Laden remain free for another year, until McCain and his “own ideas” can get to work.
Or even more of a shocker, perhaps McCain's "own ideas" break more laws than even Bush would have the stomach for. Hard to believe but possible.

Just when you think McCain may be one of the saner Republicans running for prez, he lets loose a doozy of a reminder that all Republicans are to some degree crazy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yes it's early in FLA, with just 4% of precincts in, but already Rudy trails both McCain and Romney by a fairly large margin. Giuliani has 17% of the vote to McCain's 31% and Romney's 33%.

Could the bell be tolling for America's mayor? (One can only hope).

Meanwhile, Hillary appears to be turning the SC tables on Obama, winning thus far by a 2-1 margin (54% to 27%).

UPDATE: McCain and Hillary are the winners. NBC is reporting that Rudy will in fact drop out of the race and endorse McCain.
How about that story this past week on 60 Minutes -- very interesting. No, not the lead segment on the subprime problem (thought that was also interesting), but the next one on George Piro, the FBI agent who interrogated Saddam for seven months. It's a must view.

Piro divulges that Iraq did not have WMD, that UN inspectors destroyed them, and that Saddam was lying about having WMD in hopes that it would serve as a deterrent against an invasion by Iran.

The bottom line is we're not talking real clandestine stuff here, meaning not only should our intelligence agencies have had this info at the time, but that they very likely did and it was just ignored by the powers that be. Didn't fit the desired policy. The administration then went on to lie about Iraq at least 935 times.

Oh, and we had this gem of a statement by Mr. Truth himself, our VP: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." That makes how many things Cheney has gotten wrong?

Despite all of this impeachable-type stuff, it seems the only thing people can remember now is that the surge is working (!). But it's at least encouraging to see this poll, with the question asked: "When it comes to the war in Iraq, do you think that removing Saddam Hussein from power was or was not worth the number of U.S. military casualties and the financial cost of the war?" 59% say "not worth it" vs. 32% that say "worth it," or almost a 2-1 ratio against.

So despite less violence in Iraq, people remain against this war from its very start. Perhaps it has something to do with the lies, the being misled part, or the fact Iraq had nothing to with 9/11, had no al-Qaeda until now, or perhaps it's the fact we have nearly 4000 soldiers dead and the cost of this war will be in the trillions.... The list goes on.
Paul Krugman believes when it comes to Republican smears and scurrilous attacks, it will make no difference whether Barack or Hillary (or Edwards?) is sitting in the White House.
[T]hose who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy — are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the same treatment: an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1).

The point is that while there are valid reasons one might support Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton, the desire to avoid unpleasantness isn’t one of them.
Without question, I agree with Krugman. Bush has had a breezy walk in the park during his two terms compared to the Republican onslaught against Clinton beginning on his first day in office. And we won't even compare the many crimes, illegalities, and wrongs committed by Bush/Cheney vs. that oh-so-heinous Monica problem.

That said there is this question: will the fact that Obama is African American (1/2 anyway) serve to at least partially deter the inevitable outlandish attacks from the far right and coo-coo faction of the GOP? Will that cause them to hesitate? Discuss.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Interesting story in TNR about how Kristol landed the job at the New York Times. Turns out it was mainly due to Arthur Sulzberger trying to one-up his daddy -- you know, like GW with Bush Sr. Art's father hired Safire under much controversy and Sulzberger feels he's doing something similar by hiring Kristol.

Uh, let it be known that Kristol is no (younger) Safire. (As Safire aged, his columns became less, shall we say, serious or credible).

But apparently it wasn't just me slamming Kristol's first Times' column. TNR's Gabriel Sherman writes:
Kristol's debut column on January 7, a breezy dissection of Mike Huckabee's candidacy, was roundly panned in the journalism community. (The Atlantic's James Fallows remarked on Kristol's "breathtaking banality.") Among other problems, Kristol misattributed a quote from Michael Medved to Michelle Malkin-proof, some said, that his other responsibilities would result in his "mailing in" his Times copy.
Times staffers felt Kristol just wasn't a very good writer. "Having a robust conservative voice on the page is a good idea. But you want quality," one staffer said. "In general, he's mediocre. He doesn't seem like the best choice, and the first column was crap."
Wow, and it seems like even conservative, right-winger Bill Safire himself was against the hiring:
The Times' public editor, Clark Hoyt, acknowledged the Kristol kerfuffle in his column on Sunday, January 13, writing of Kristol's hiring: "This is a decision I would not have made." When reached by phone, Safire told me: "I saw the excellent piece that the public editor wrote the other day, and that pretty much tells the story."
But perhaps the saddest, most depressing bit of news in the piece is the conjecture that Sulzberger hired Kristol because he's afraid Rupert Murdoch will in due time clean the Times' clock with the Wall Street Journal. OK, so the way Arthur decides to confront Murdoch, or to compete with his new purchase, is to hire his lightweight dopes in order to move a step closer towards making the once highly-respected Times into a cartoon version Rupert would approve of...? Look, Art, you're not picking up any new right-wing readers who forever regard the sheer logo of the Times as symbolizing "commie" and "pinko" and yet you will lose more moderate and/or liberal readers -- like me.

You see? A net loss all around. Is it any wonder the Times has been heading downhill for years?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Congrats to Obama for winning HUGE in South Carolina. His vote total outnumbered Hillary's by more than a 2-1 margin, and Barack received more votes than did McCain and Huckabee combined.

And let's not forget the rosy redness of South Carolina, a solid pro-Bush (in 2004 anyway), pro-GOP, conservative state. Yet the Dem voter turnout yesterday in this very red state was approximately 530K large, compared to that of the Republican primary which was about 100K less (430K).

Needless to say, this bodes very well for the larger mission: replacing the current White House occupant with a Democrat.

Friday, January 25, 2008

This issue of government surveillance and immunity for the telecoms singularly presents the problem with corporate lobbying dollars at work. It's highly doubtful, or at least very hard to believe, that any fair-minded politician who truly cared about privacy rights and Constitutional guarantees would ever support immunity for the telecom companies if not for big donor monies buying their vote.

And we move one step closer to making Orwell's 1984 a reality.

With regards to Dem senator Jay Rockefeller supporting the immunity, Glenn Greenwald writes:
Can someone please tell Jay Rockefeller that we don't actually live in a country where the President has the definitively dictatorial power to "compel" and "require" private actors to break the law by "ordering" them to do so? Like all other lawbreakers, telecoms broke the law because they chose to, and profited greatly as a result. That telecoms had an option is too obvious to require proof, but conclusive proof can be found in the fact that some telecoms did refuse to comply on the grounds that doing so was against the law.

There is a branch of Government that does have the power to compel and require behavior by private actors. It's called "the American people," acting through their Congress, who democratically enact laws regulating that behavior. And the American people enacted multiple laws making it illegal (.pdf) for telecoms, in the absence of a warrant, to enable Government spying on their customers and to turn over private data. Rockefeller's claimed belief that we live in a country where private companies are "compelled" to obey orders to break the law is either indescribably authoritarian or disgustingly dishonest -- probably both.
Rockefeller's claims also entail the core dishonesty among amnesty advocates. He implies that the real party that engaged in wrongdoing was the President, not telecoms, yet his bill does nothing to enable plaintiffs to overcome the numerous obstacles the administration has used to block themselves from being held accountable. If Rockefeller were being truthful about his belief that it's the administration that should be held accountable here, then his bill would at least provide mechanisms for ensuring that can happen. It doesn't, and thus results in nothing other than total protection for all lawbreakers -- including administration officials -- who committed felonies by spying on Americans for years without warrants.
Last time I checked we live in a representative democracy, not a totalitarian state. Granted, over the last few years it's become increasingly difficult to recognize whether this observation is true or not.
Efforts to override Bush's veto against children's healthcare (CHIP) failed once again.

I just want to know who are these supporting Republicans? Are their constituents really against this program?
Starting off a story in Bloomberg News: "President George W. Bush is poised to leave the federal government in worse financial shape than he found it...."

But I thought Republicans were all about small government, less spending, and balancing budgets? I thought the Dems were the fat-cat spenders? But Bill Clinton handed GW a hefty surplus only to see it squandered by a GOP-controlled Congress and White House.

Can we now and forever be rid of this farce about Republicans? They simply make government worse, and more expensive.
With news of the latest stimulus package making its way through Washington, I just thought I'd toss out a reminder of GW's "HOPE NOW" mortgage assistance initiative. Remember this? In early December, when Bush debuted this scheme to supposedly help hundreds of thousands of mortgage holders (and he did so by handing out the wrong phone number)?

According to Barron's, HOPE NOW has helped less than 100 mortgage holders to date. That's it. But the official (fine print?) line of HOPE NOW is they can only help "less than 1/100th of a percent of the calls they receive." Even then, it doesn't stop them from claiming to help a whopping 5%.

None of this should shock anyone. This administration will concoct some phoney cure, send it up the flag pole filled with lies and false promises, the media soaks it in and broadcasts, the program does not deliver but no matter, people have long forgotten about it. Next.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This alone should immediately excuse Huckabee from any chance of being the presidential nominee for any political party in this country. (Or if not that than how about this). The fact that the GOP "tolerates" this nonsense about turning our already-fading Constitution into a theocratic document is quite telling and sad, but not surprising.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I have a curious question: does it make sense that "America's Mayor" should be faring this poorly in these early primary states, even despite his decision to "skip" them? Yes, fine, Rudy threw the dice and decided to focus on FLA, but if he's such a larger-than-life, 9/11-huge type figure, then shouldn't his performance be at least a tad bit better than it has been in these states? I mean c'mon, Giuliani, former big-time mayor of NYC, is now trailing McCain in New York!

To me it says his gradual downhill slide is not surprising, that once folks on a national scale learn more about him and what he's truly all about, it's when his mythical appeal crumbles and the disturbing, ugly realities hit home. Momentum works both ways and it's tough to reverse.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who knew that anyone in this administration was capable of reason?
On one side, according to people familiar with the deliberations, is a powerful group of pragmatists, including Henry M. Paulson Jr., the treasury secretary; Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff; and Ed Gillespie, counselor to Mr. Bush. They argue that the need for a stimulus is urgent, but have expressed concern that the administration may have to scale back its ambitions for permanent tax cuts to get a package through Congress.
But then of course we have what we're more accustomed to:
On the other side, these people say, are staunch economic conservatives like Keith B. Hennessey, the new director of Mr. Bush’s National Economic Council. They have reservations about the need for an economic rescue package and maintain that if the White House proposes one, it should use the plan as leverage to press lawmakers into making the tax cuts permanent.
That's it, use any stimulus plan targeted at the middle class as blackmail against the Dems, attempting to force them to make the tax cuts for the rich made permanent. It's always about the wealthy -- even when it's about the middle class.

Most economists agree when faced with a recession, fiscal stimulus directed at the non-affluent is an effective cure and it should be temporary. Most economists do not recommend actions should be for the rich and in a permanent way.

But it looks like the filthy blackmail tactic will rule the day....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you classic Orwellian 1984 "doublespeak":
Q: [A]re there in fact the emails missing? What’s the likelihood of their recovery versus the –

[White House spokesman Tony] Fratto: …I think to the best of what all the analysis we’ve been able to do, we have absolutely no reason to believe that any emails are missing; there’s no evidence of that. There’s no — we tried to reconstruct some of the work that went into a chart that was entered into court records and could not replicate that or could not authenticate the correctness of the data in that chart. And from everything that we can tell, our analysis of our backup systems, we have no reason to believe that any email at all are missing.

Q: Where are they?

Fratto: Where are what?

Q: Where are part of –

Fratto: Which email? […]

Q: [I]f you were asked, you would be in a position to comply with a request to produce those documents?

Fratto: Yes, which documents?
As Steve Benen describes, it's the Abbott & Costello "Who's On First?" comedy routine, only in real life! This administration clearly breaks the law ("rule of law" anyone?), but given enforcement by Congress is so lax, these guys figure what the heck, just talk in circles, obfuscate like silly, make no sense with a straight face -- just delay, delay, delay. Before you know it, we'll be out of office, in the clear.

And they will be in the clear as the Dems will not pursue this; just look at how they quickly dropped the attorney purge scandal once Gonzo exited.

Yes, the GOP has learned it can often pay to violate laws.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Our leader "disowns" and apologizes for facts and the truth handed down from the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies comprising the NIE.
[I]n private conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week, the president all but disowned the document, said a senior administration official who accompanied Bush on his six-nation trip to the Mideast. "He told the Israelis that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that [the NIE's] conclusions don't reflect his own views" about Iran's nuclear-weapons program, said the official, who would discuss intelligence matters only on the condition of anonymity....Bush told Olmert he was uncomfortable with the findings and seemed almost apologetic.
What a disgrace. Incredible we have to endure an entire year before this guy finally hits the highway. 2008 will feel like an eternity. On the evening of November 4th, the country should celebrate as if it was the mother of all New Year's Days!
Don't forget, global warming is not just about melting icebergs, rising tides, droughts, more violent storms, more extreme hot/cold weather -- oh, and tons and tons of toxic pollutants released into the air for us to breathe and ingest as the toxins get absorbed into water, food, etc. No, global warming is also about disease, as the viruses and other bugs that typically were held in check now spread to the new, more temperate climates. Example: Chikungunya.

But not to worry. After years of stone-walling, blocking, editing reports, and basically doing everything possible to be the anti-environment president, supposedly Bush is coming around to the realty of the situation, just before he's out the door.
[E]ver so gradually, they say, Bush's views have evolved. He has found the science increasingly persuasive and believes more needs to be done, especially after a set of secret briefings last winter....If global warming turns out to be a defining issue of this generation, advisers said, Bush does not want to be remembered as a roadblock.
Hold on, I can't stop laughing, can't catch my breath.... Are these people for real? Now he fears he'll be remembered as Prez Roadblock when it came to global warming, pollution, and the environment? Newsflash: that ship has long sailed! He will and should go down as the worst environmental president ever, no debate. Much too late to alter that well-earned title.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

If our healthcare system is far and away superior to all others in the world, then why do we rank rock-bottom last among industrialized countries when it comes to death rate for treatable diseases? Yes, we are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to preventable deaths for people below the age of 75.

While some deaths are more tragic than others, all deaths are unfortunate. Almost 3,000 people died on September 11th, and the number of U.S. soldiers dead in Iraq is approaching 4,000 -- both extremely tragic and sad realities. However, this study says that every year 101,000 people die in the U.S. that otherwise would not have if the U.S. had performed as well as the top three countries (France, Japan, Australia) in the study. That's 101,000 preventable deaths per year in the U.S.

Draw your own conclusions.
Recall how Karl Rove attacked John Kerry's admirable military service -- this despite the stark contrast to GW, a draft-dodging coward. Well Rove is at it again, this time in a WSJ piece, attacking Obama as being "lazy," having a light resume, and being prone to "misstatements and exaggerations." Hmm, I wonder who more accurately represents and fits those characterizations, let me think, one second -- oh, right, our current president!

You just can't make this stuff up. Rove is a one-man Three Stooges.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Magic 8-ball voting machines?

Like 99.9% of everyone else, I attributed Hillary's big upset win in New Hampshire as either something major changing late Monday in campaigning or the methodology behind the polls were just wrong and needed to be reexamined.

What I neglected to consider was that perhaps it wasn't the voters or the polls but rather the voting machines. has been feverishly writing about this matter. I urge you to visit his web site and get caught-up.

What's truly scary is the next president of the United States could (once again?) be decided not by the voting public but by the likes of Diebold Inc.
Upon the one-year anniversary of the troop surge, are we happy violence in Iraq is down? Of course, duh. But applauding this and this alone is like being thankful for the absence of fire in an already burned-down forest. There's no chance for fire because there's nothing left to burn. Experts explain that a major reason(s) for the decline in violence is because many civilians and insurgents are already dead, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens have fled the country leaving fewer targets, and militias/sects have already begun to partition the country, making less need for violence (at this point anyway).

As for the lack of any political progress in the country, this again equates to that burned-down forest having no new trees, remaining just a collection of charred ruins. Until political progress occurs, Iraq remains metaphorically barren.
Bhutto's death was obviously tragic, but to gain a more complete understanding of what she was all about, read this brief piece (hint: she was no saint).
Absolutely and completely outrageous:
"To date, the White House has evaded answering questions about whether it permanently destroyed over 5 million e-mails about issues such as Hurricane Katrina, the firing of United States Attorneys, and the exposure of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent," said Meredith Fuchs, general counsel of the National Security Archive, one of the two parties suing the White House. "This order will force the Executive Office of the President to tell the public whether it really erased key records of the nation's history or whether it has made any effort to preserve the information."
Outrageous and yet no outcry, nothing on the news, Joe Blow in the street continues to have no clue about this. Our government remains malicious in its secrecy, could've broken the law regarding these emails, defies court orders, and yet they refuse to tell the people the truth.

Whatever happened to that "rule of law" stuff, repeated relentlessly and with great disdain during the latter part of the '90s by nearly every Republican on the planet...? Funny how with Bush/Cheney -- an administration that has scoffed at the law on a daily basis, ignoring it and /or violating it at their discretion -- we hear not a peep from the GOP crowd nor the Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly sect of shout-heads.

What if this were Bill Clinton's administration possibly responsible for destroying millions of emails (illegally) that may have had content on many transgressions and/or illegal acts, AND they refused to be honest about it to the American people....? You betcha, we'd never hear the end of the red-faced outrage from the screeching right-wing loon brigade....

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

With Hillary's surprising win last night, either she was able to do something late Monday to change the mind of many New Hampshire voters or the methodology behind many pollsters needs to be seriously reexamined. The polls had Obama coming off his Iowa victory with momentum, dramatically carving away support for Hillary in NH. I saw Obama leading in polls from seven percent to thirteen percent.

Regardless, a HUGE win for Hillary -- just when many were writing her off. And frankly of all the nutjobs running for the GOP nod, if I had to pick one I'd prefer McCain, so kudos to his phoenix-like win.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

With his debut column, Bill Kristol decided, for whatever reason, to plant a big wet one on Mike Huckabee's cheek. Compared to the folks Kristol normally approves of, Huckabee is to the left of George McGovern, so one has to wonder if the Times gig has perhaps forced Kristol into believing he needs to mellow a bit given the readership.

That said he starts the column off by thanking Obama for "sparing us a third Clinton term." Yeah, I have to admit those two Clinton terms in the '90s were just god-awful compared to these last two by GW -- Kristol is off to a predictable (nonsensical) start. He later has the gall to cite a quote from lunatic-fringe blogger Michelle Malkin, something even David Brooks would never do. And then Kristol makes the ridiculous point that because Huckabee plays bass guitar he's not a "crazy Christian." Wow, who knew? Quite the litmus test.

Brooks should be happy. His columns will only look better.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

It looks like McCain has surged past Romney in N.H. And don't look now but Ron Paul is about to surge past Giuliani.... (Whatever happened to that Rudy guy? Anyone recall what he looks like??)
Great column by Frank Rich this morning. He distills the Iowa outcome as one of rejecting the last seven years, with middle-America voters in both parties choosing the least establishment-connected candidates.

A record number of Democrats showed up to give Obama the convincing win -- this in a state that is 95% white and under 3% African American. Imagine how such a massive turnout in this generally conservative state bodes for Obama in the rest of the country? It's no wonder Hillary is flop-sweating....

And as for Huckabee, well any GOP candidate who has the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Robert Novak, and the WSJ editorial page up in arms can't be all that bad. (Make no mistake, he's very much not good, ignorant on many issues and quite nutty on others, but it's all relative on that crazed side of the political spectrum).

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Is John Edwards in 2008 that much different than Al Gore in 2000? Not much, right? Then why does Edwards deserve Ralph Nader's endorsement?

Apparently, eight years ago Nader couldn't get himself to endorse Gore and instead jumped into the race (and the rest is history). Then and since, Nader has repeatedly criticized both political parties, believing there was no difference between the two when it came to corruption and selling out.

That being the case doesn't Nader's endorsement of Democrat Edwards negate this longtime contention? If so, what is it about Edwards (and not Gore in 2000) that makes this so? Is Edwards that much of a revolutionary change and departure from the conventional Democrat to satisfy Nader's complaints? (Uh, no).

Nader made a dumb move. The right one was to endorse no one. By doing so, he just made his legacy for the last eight years look that much worse.
With 96% of the votes in, ABC is reporting that the Democratic voter turnout in Iowa is just over 227,000, easily smashing the prior record by a 2-1 margin. Meanwhile, with 78% of the votes in, the Republican turnout is just over 93,000.

At least one poll prior to today had the Democratic turnout beating that of the Republican by a 60% margin. Needless to say, that estimation was far too conservative.

This enthusiastic showing by Democrats vs. Republicans bodes very well for this November.
Doesn't this sound familiar?
When Congress caved to White House pressure in August, it authorized continued warrantless eavesdropping only until Feb. 1. Now, the White House wants the move made permanent. "Terrorists do not work on six month time frames," [Ed] Gillespie said.
I could be wrong but weren't the tax cuts for the rich supposed to be temporary? And wasn't the increase in troops for the surge supposed to be temporary? Hell, wasn't the Iraq occupation supposed to be temporary?

When will the Dems catch-on to this ploy? Bush/Cheney get what they want under the guise of it only being temporary, they get it, then at a later date they pull out all the stops to make it permanent.

Is it any wonder the Dem-led Congress polls as low as Bush/Cheney?
Dick Polman reminds us of another important result to come out of Iowa tonight:
Thursday night, it also will be worth comparing the Democratic and Republican turnout totals, just to see which camp is more enthused about its prospects in 2008. According to the latest Iowa State University poll, Democratic turnout could outpace GOP turnout by 60 percent; by contrast, in the 2000 Iowa caucuses (the last time both races were open), the GOP turnout outpaced the Democrats by 30 percent.
Democratic voters need to show up in force this November -- in part, to help offset much of the voter chicanery that's been occurring in the last few elections.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

After hearing Bill Clinton stumping for his wife in Iowa, Noam Scheiber waxes nostalgic for the '90s:
What this analysis misses--that strange, erratic "Charlie Rose" appearance notwithstanding--is the sheer pleasure of seeing the big guy work. You'd be hard-pressed to recall a Democratic presidential field richer in talent than the current one. And yet, five minutes into any Clinton riff, you realize you're watching some freakish hybrid of the party's top-tier.
Clinton's speeches seems like rambling affairs as you listen to them--the bullet points pile up so quickly it's hard to keep them straight. But they always leave you with something profound....Often the take-away is some variation on the following: There's a solution to pretty much any problem if you get deep enough into the details.
Watching Clinton in Iowa is like watching Gandalf the White--a familiar and comforting presence, whose magical powers seem too good to be true, come back from another realm to save the day.
Hillary was part of a world-famous political brand--Clintonism--which Bill's appearances have a way of rehabilitating.
If you read the entire piece it may seem as if Scheiber may be poking fun, tongue firmly in cheek, but regardless, he makes some very valid points.

However, if indeed he is offering praise in a half-hearted manner, it begs the question: why must any credible journalist avoid laying out the case for the Clintons in a 100% non-wink-wink manner? Why must the accolades be lauded in couched fashion, firmly holding back the gushing that is so often afforded many of the much less worthy on the right?

Can we finally please accept and embrace the fact that despite his flaws and Monica dalliance, Bill Clinton was an excellent president, one of the best ever, that he and his wife were a terrific success while in office -- light years better than the GW/Laura tandem?

Just compare the Clintonism brand vs. the Bush brand (including Sr.). No comparison. Like a Mercedes-Benz C600 vs. a Dodge Dart.

Oh my gosh, we can't have four more years of that!
Happy New Year! Just one year and 20 days before Cheney's reign is finito. But stay buckled up, this administration can continue to inflict lots of damage in that time. (And we know the Dems aren't about to stop them).