There's quite a bit of distraction over Kerry's botched joke ("not smart = stuck in Iraq"). He said it, so he's got to take the heat. However, don't ignore the context. He preceded that statement with a Bush joke, and apparently makes this joke all the time:
"I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."
Ha, ha. I wish he'd make it more clear this was a botched joke, and release what he meant to say. It wasn't even mentioned in the NY Times story.
Obviously, being a veteran and advocate for soldiers is a huge part of who he is and was criticized for making too much of it in his presidential campaign. It's ridiculous that right-wingbloggers are trying to say Kerry has a pattern of hating soldiers, or that this silly slipup somehow reveals Democrats' secret hatred of the military.
Bush lashes out, Kerry comes out swinging, and it's a 2004-style war of the words once again. Can we get back to 2006, please?
That follows his, Tony Snow's and President Bush's earlier comments in the same goofy vein issued almost simultaneously with the acknowledgement that they have absolutly no evidence to support their claims.
Funny. I don't see any Democrats using footage of terrorists in their campaign ads. I see only Republicans trying to gain political ground off the acts of the terrorists. Who knows, maybe Cheney's right. Maybe he knows more than he's saying. Cheney: Did you pay those terrorists so you would have a nice campaign ad? Shame on you. But hey, at least he's admitting it.
Now spending is out of control. Rather than rolling back government, we have a new $1.2 trillion Medicare prescription drug benefit, and non-defense discretionary spending is growing twice as fast as it had in the Clinton administration. Meanwhile, Social Security is collapsing while rogue nations are going nuclear and the Middle East is more combustible than ever. Yet Republican lawmakers have taken up such issues as flag burning, Terri Schiavo and same-sex marriage.
They're fooling only themselves.
Quite a lot of head-shaking and soul-searching in the Republican Party these days, and the election hasn't event happened. One of my solaces after the 2004 election was knowing Americans would be given more time to see where this administration's failed policies and tactics were taking us, providing for a more decisive and corrective swing the next time around.
Meet the Real Michele Bachmann: Vote for me because Jesus told me to run
This is a little old, but bears another look. Here's the real Bachmann. The one you won't see in her ads or her campaign appearances - except those campaign appearances in church. I forget, who are they supposed to be worshipping again?
I have often said that Bachman is the most dangerous candidate in Minnesota. Folks, we don't want people who believe they are ordained by God to make the laws. We don't want a fasting Michelle Bachman with her fingers on any buttons. It couldn't be clearer: The GOP is the party of Michele Bachmann and that's a dangerous thing for the nation and for Minnesota.
It really has been quite a parade of generals who are confirming what most people now accept as fact:
Iraq is completely screwed up. In Salon's U.S. generals call for Democratic takeover, Maj. Gen. John Batiste (retired) and Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (retired), both veterans of the Iraq war, offer their hard won thoughts:
"The way out that I see is to hand the House and the Senate to the Democrats and get this thing turned around," Eaton explained, adding that such sentiment is growing among retired and active-duty military leaders. "Most of us see two more years of the same if the Republicans stay in power," he said. He also noted, "You could not have tortured me enough to vote for Mr. Kerry or Mr. Gore, but I'm not at all thrilled with who I did vote for."
"It will never be democracy," Batiste said, pointing to the military's several years of experience battling the insurgency in Iraq. Democracy, he said, simply runs counter to the powerful tribal and religious fault lines of Iraqi society. But he thinks that the country might still be successfully carved up among the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds. Sharing oil resources might seal the deal, Batiste said, and it could be spun as "some form of representative government" -- if not a democracy.
"Either partition it into three countries or go into a loose confederation and have assurances on the sharing of natural resources," Eaton agreed. "I think that is the best we can get out of this deal now."
The final thoughts are not happy, but they strike me as exceedingly realistic:
Batiste said he was tormented by reading daily casualty reports and knowing that the deaths are, in part, the result of a bungled, backward strategy that focuses on lofty but unattainable goals. But while he and others admit they have no particular love for the Democrats, they see the party as perhaps their last, best hope of reaping anything other than more death and destruction in Iraq.
Sometimes you read a story, or watch the words come out of someone's mouth, and you wonder: Just exactly who are these people? Did their mothers raise them correctly? Are they stable?
Watching Bush say to George Stephanopoulos that "We’ve never been stay the course, George!" was such an experience for me. Then watch Tony Snow try to explain why the Bush administration is choosing to change its language. It's because, you see, critics just misunderstood what "Stay the Course" means. Silly us. Now we can hear something exactly the opposite of "Stay the Course," which is "...a study in constant motion by the administration" and simply conclude that they have absolutely no respect for the Citizens of this country. Not for you, not for me, not for Republicans, Independents, Greens and Democrats - No respect.
Bachmann taken to school, made to sit in the corner for lying to the teacher
Michele Bachman is on record as wanting to end federal support for public education. One of the reasons she is trying to get to Washington, is to continue her crusade against government support for public education. It's not a secret - But she doesn't campaign on it because she knows that most Minnesotans value education next to cleanliness and Godliness.
So what does she say in public? She says she is an ardent supporter of public education. Bachmann lies again: "I have voted for every K-12 education bill." Listen to her absolutely lie her tush off. My only wish is that Patty Wetterling had more of killer instinct and a instant recall of the dirt. It would have been really nice of her to recount Bachmann's abysmal voting record as well as offered some detail on the company she keeps. Bachmann's website has no response to Patty's assertions (because they are true). If you can find one I'd be interested in seeing it. I could only find the usual code-worded pablum about returning education to local control, which gets the home schoolers purring.
Bachmann voted against a bill that outlined appropriations and standards for K-12 schools and school districts, including early childhood. The total expenditures topped $8.8 billion. The bill passed 46-18. [SF 2359, 5/3/01]
Bachmann Voted Against Immediate Emergency Fuel Assistance For School Districts. When public schools needed emergency energy relief for their high winter heating costs, there was a bill on the Senate floor to provide them with $30 million in reimbursement for the heating costs. Bachmann voted against the measure even though it was only three percent of the projected $924 million budget surplus. [Stillwater Gazette, 2/21/01; SF 228, 2/5/01]
Bachmann Opposed Funding for Education, Public Safety, Economic Development, Environmental Programs. Bachmann voted against a bill that established the budget for much of the state government and included the following appropriations for 2006-07:
* Over $13 billion for early childhood, K-12, and higher education * Over $340 million for agriculture and environmental programs [SF 1879, 3/23/05]
The ceremony involved Secretary of State Rice and the swearing in of Mark Dybul, an open homosexual, as the nation's new global AIDS coordinator -- a position that carries the rank of ambassador. An Associated Press photo of the ceremony also shows a smiling First Lady Laura Bush and Dybul's homosexual "partner," Jason Claire. During her comments, Rice referred to the presence of Claire's mother and called her Dybul's "mother-in-law," a term normally reserved for the heterosexuals who have been legally married.
Irony anyone? Rice and the White House protocol office acted with common sense and decency. They simply acknowleged the obvious relationships that were staring them in the face. Naturally, evangelical huffiness ensued. Here's Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council:
"We have to face the fact that putting a homosexual in charge of AIDS policy is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," says Sprigg. "But even beyond that, the deferential treatment that was given not only to him but his partner and his partner's family by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is very distressing."
What a charmer, huh? Fox in the hen house? Does anyone know what the hell he's talking about? Doesn't matter.
Props to Rice for being a stand up person and taking a refreshing step back from her party's idiotic obsession with gay marriage.
The travesty that any citizen of this country can be declared an enemy combatant at the whim of the President and imprisoned indefinitely without charges is second only to the Democrat's inexplicable silence on the issue. The whole thing is an embarassment for the United States.
At least "They" can't hate us for our freedom if we aren't free.
The conservative homosexual is, and never has been, an anomaly. Or a rarity. From Roy Cohn to journalist Whittaker Chambers, prominent gay men found it professionally advantageous in the era of HUAC to position themselves to the right of California's senator-turned-vice-president Richard M. Nixon. It was a time when the epithets "pinko" and "fag" were often interchangeable.
In 1950, Republican National Chairman Guy George Gabrielson issued the announcement that "sexual perverts who have infiltrated our government in recent years [were] perhaps as dangerous as the actual Communists." As the HUAC hearings proceeded, the State Department fired 425 employees on the basis of their "homosexual proclivities." To Senator McCarthy, a subversive was a subversive. "If you want to be against McCarthy, boys, you've got to be a Communist or a cocksucker," said the Senator.
Of all the Minnesota candidates, Bachmann is the one that scares me the most. She is oh-so-carefully packaged to look like a nice modereate mommy, but scratch the surface and out pops a Dominionist tool who doesn't believe in the US constitution, public education, basic freedoms, science or nuclear restraint.
It isn't surprising that Bachmann doesn't believe in Global Warming. What is surprising is that she uses another thing she doesn't believe in, Science, to discredit it.
Amanda Congdon has a twopart interview with Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, considered a likely presidential candidate in 2008. His integrity, intelligence, and ability to communicate are refreshing. He's probably too down-to-earth for many folks outside the Midwest, but who knows? I think we could use a midwestern president in these times.
Definitely check out part two where he talks about energy independence as homeland security. Or for a much faster download, MP3 of the entire interview.
A recent report from the Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance has Amy Klobuchar's lead over Mark Kennedy pegged at 16 percentage points (52 to 36 percent). Republicans are straying more from Kennedy than Democrats are from Klobuchar, and Independents overwhelmingly support Klobuchar (49 to 27). While those numbers are slightly remarkable, I thought their explanations for this wide margin were even more interesting. First, the Center partially attributes these numbers to "Bush Baggage" -- President Bush's unpopularity is rubbing off on Kennedy and working in favor of Klobuchar. (They note, however, that this "Bush Drag" isn't affecting the gubernatorial race in the same way.)
Second, the Minnesotans surveyed ranked Iraq as the nation's most important issue, an issue on which Klobuchar is out-performing Kennedy, according to the Center. (Forty five percent of those surveyed chose Iraq as the most important issue, completely obliterating any domestic issues. Strange.)
Finally, there is a huge gender gap that plays to Klobuchar's advantage. While Democratic women candidates normally do better among women voters, Klobuchar's lead among women (26 points) is extraordinary. And this despite any significant outreach to women voters. (At least as far as I could discern. While I know Klobuchar's pro-choice, she certainly hasn't appealed to me as a voter interested in women's rights.)
One last note: Klobuchar's advantage is not transferable to Mike Hatch. Thirteen percent of those planning to vote for Klobuchar are also planning to vote for Tim Pawlenty. For those who want to know more about local elections, I'd recommend the Center's Elections Projects site, as well as their Smart Politics blog. They're still both works in progress, but you'll find little analyses and nuggets of info not available anywhere else.
This is a really interesting, longish, piece about why the Foley scandal has created the perfect storm for the GOP. The real scandal is - insert eggregious excess by the administration here - but for some reason, this is the one that matters. The basic reason? The GOP is confronting the hard truth: It's leadership doesn't care about evangelicals and is dissproportionately run by closeted gay men who legislate against themselves.
What makes the scandal powerful is that it is really three scandals - the first is the sex predator scandal of Foley and pages, the second is the cover up scandal which includes Hastert and the FBI, the third is also a sex and cover up scandal, but it is the one which is the glue that holds the entire roving meltdown together. It about Gay Republicans. Specifically Gay Republicans. That's Gay Republicans.
The scandal which has turned the entire mess radioactive is the cover up by the Republican elite from their own base of the reality of Gay Republican Promiscuous Sex. The Republican Party is in free fall because this isn't a Republican versus Democrat partisan scandal - which could be spun away. But the Republican revolutionary guard need to purge its own leadership.
I'm sorry, but that's not a fruitful conversation. This clip alone is enough to make a voter want to flip off the TV and tune out of the whole political process.
There are perverted and otherwise unhealthy people in all walks of life, of all political stripes. When the media smells anything like a sex scandal, they get out the HYPE-O-METER and take over the airwaves, brushing aside criticism of the administration's performance in Iraq, for example. The Republican coverup may end up being the more relevant story. It's the story of a Republican party that protects their own first, the nation's children second.
LOCAL CONNECTIONS VIA MN PUBLIUS: Mark Kennedy has $3000 from Mark Foley in the coffers, and Michele Bachmann is in for $25k from the coverup comrades. Minnesota voters (and bloggers) will be watching for these candidates to do the right thing and return tainted funds.
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