Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all...Not Yecke

Why the Star Tribune continues to publish Cheri Pierson Yecke's loony rants escapes me. In the past, Yecke has argued against the separation of Church and State using arguments largely constructed of imaginary facts. Now, the little birds flapping around Yecke's brain told her to expose a new liberal conspiracy - The liberal media is attacking conservative women for their fashion sense or their looks. Fashion, in yecke's world, is now a partisan issue:

After all, it is mainly conservative women who have been the victims of this sort of media slashing. Sad to say, with few exceptions, the circling vultures are left-leaning women.

Yecke is probably forgetting the time Rush Limbaugh compared Chelsea Clinton to the White House Dog when she was 13 years old. She maybe didn't catch NRO writer John Derbyshire calling Hillary a "double bagger":

Like you, I have been watching with fascination as our sleek, svelte, coiffed, poised, ever-smiling ex-First Lady turns into a grim-lipped, shapeless, stringy-haired old bag in a muu-muu.

Derbyshire followed up this masterpiece with an article in which he coyly states: "I hate Chelsea Clinton;" while generously, "...Leaving her looks out of it."

Yecke's diatribe is a tired re-hash of Anne Coulter's equally stupid assertions in her book Slander. There are enough examples of media skewering fashion victims, ugly people and making low-class trashy statements that it just plain isn't a partisan issue. At. All.

Still Yecke misses the point. Yecke aspires to to stand on a pedestal of propaganda. She points the finger at the other side and says you, you, you. She is so busy firing the blame gun that she misses the point. Americans don't object to Linda Tripp, Kathleen Harris or Condoleeza Rice because of the way the look or dress. Americans don't like them because of what they did or are doing.

Americans don't like Linda Tripp because she secretly wiretapped her friend and then sold her down the river. She says she did so out of patriotism. Americans don't really buy it. An affair with in intern isn't Watergate or Iran Contra. It's pretty tough to love a snitch and a liar.

Kathleen Harris: In the months leading up to the November 2000 balloting, in coordination with Governor Jeb Bush, ordered local elections supervisors to purge 57,700 from voter registries. Most of those voters were black and Democrat. The state of Florida later quietly admitted fraud. Additionally, she was both the Secretary of State of Florida at the same time she was the Co-chair of the Bush campaign. In an sane world, that represents a massive conflict of interest. Eye shadow or no eye shadow, Harris's activty was mighty shady.

As for Rice, she is a seriously accomplished woman. I think she has done a reasonable job as Secretary of State. I was glad to see her visit Africa. I am also glad that a black woman is representing the US abroad. But you know what? She played a key role in duping the American public in the run up to the war in Iraq. Agree or disagree, it is now a matter of record that the premise for war was fake and the Bushies knew it. Rice helped sell us a bill of goods that caused the death of 1,700 American Soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. For that I do not trust her. For the record - I like her fashion sense.

Yecke is running for Congress here in Minnesota. I haven't seen pictures of her or met her in person. Still, based on the drabness of her "dress of thought" and the quality of her ideas, I think I will resist the urge to inflict her on our state and the country. I hope you will join me.


The Graves Awaits You

Le Meridien takes a new name. Yeah, I don't care either, but the article features this creepy passage which demonstrates how the Bush economy is misallocating its resources:

"We're not snotty about it by any means, but that's the level we're going to be playing at," Graves said. "We provide an experience. ... You're in an oasis, and it provides you all the amenities you'd have if you had a domestic staff that didn't end."

Graves said there's a strong demand for such experiences.

"There's more discretionary dollars in the marketplace now than there's ever been with the accumulation of wealth, time and interest in travel. It's one of the leisure activities that definitely is growing," he said.

Graves' timing appears to be good. The hotel industry -- particularly in high-end properties -- is booming worldwide, with large publicly traded firms such as Starwood and Marriott reporting record profits.

"There clearly is a market for upscale hotels," said John Karver, senior vice president at the CB Richard Ellis Hotel Group brokerage. "Upscale hotels across the United States, if not the world, are performing admirably. ... They're heavily favored by guests and investors alike."

Yikes. Meanwhile we working folks keep treading water and scratching our heads over the curious phrase "domestic staff." Anyway, I don't wanna put down the future Graves 601 Hotel Minneapolis, since it's a union shop. (The nonunion luxury Grand is what we should boycott, that is if any of you readers have relatives or clients wealthy enough to attempt a stay there.) Maybe a post-trickle-down voodoo economy really could help workers. So long as unions are involved and fair wages and benefits are collectively bargained as a result of some fat-ass profiteering. That round-the-clock "domestic staff" don't come for free...


Norman Borlaug

It's a wonderful thing to see the University of Minnesota's own Norman Borlaug -- father of the Green Revolution -- as today's featured article at Wikipedia. The honor ain't quite as permanent as his 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, but it's much cooler. I doubt that any print encyclopedias have Borlaug articles with this sort of depth and fascination.

I've often parted ways with my environmentalist brothers and sisters (including many Green Party members) about the Green Revolution: I believe quantity and access to food -- actually feeding people -- should always trump issues of organic, genetic, or hydrological purity. Borlaug puts it best in a quote from the article:

"Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things."

Congratulations, Dr. Borlaug, may you remain among us another ninety years...

[UPDATE: You can also listen to the "Norman Borlaug Rap", written by one M.C. Tractor.]


Don't mourn. Organize.

"We're not trying to divide the labor movement - we're trying to rebuild it. We have to do everything in our power to help workers. But when you're going down a road and it's headed in the wrong direction, and you know where the road ends, you got to get off the road and walk in a new direction where there is hope." -- SEIU President Andy Stern

I'm still not sure what to make of today's seen-it-coming-for-weeks AFL-CIO schism, though I'm sure happy the deed is done at last. A unified labor movement is important, but it's also nearly useless once the inevitable stagnation and inertia creep in, bringing the olde beer-gut-and-silk-tie "Big Labor" stereotype back into fashion. Let's face it, organizing is far more important than throwing money at the Democratic party, the latter which seems to have been John Sweeney's genius strategy for the past decade. Lots of news reports have been focusing on how this schism could redirect needless energy to internal battles, causing the labor movement to slip even further into the abyss. Not true: instead we'll see a new organizing strength and focus in key parts of the labor movement, and the resulting victories will start rocking the inertia out of the Sweeney types, eventually rebuilding unity from a stronger footing.

As for the effect this schism has on the Democratic Party: if anything, we left-wing Democrats should watch and learn. Our stodgy moderate party might be long overdue for an invigorating schism too.


On Roberts

We pride ourselves on living in the reality based community. Facts are important to us. It is a fact that the President must select and nominate candidates for Surpreme Court Justices. Bush has fulfilled this duty with the nomination of John Roberts.

In making his decision, he could have kept true to form and selected a right wing idealogue and jammed him or her down the throats of the nation. As far as I can tell, He didn't. There isn't much to consider on the opinions of Mr. Roberts - he has not published that many. The arguments he advanced in the service of his largely Republican or Conservative Business paymasters aren't really valid. They are opinions for hire. He seems to have garnered a large degree of respect and admiration from a wide range of people.

It has been demonstrated over time that Supreme Court Justices wander off the ideological range once they are confirmed. Roberts does not have the air, academic record, references, or legislative record of a radical. He is a conservative, but did anybody expect a conservative president to nominate a liberal judge? Bush did the country a favor - possibly the only thing I can point to in his two terms that I consider vaguely positive. I believe that Bush should be impeached. That doesn't change the fact that Roberts is a substantial intellect and a substantial human being.

NARAL, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, are all putting resources into protesting Roberts' nomination. I wish they wouldn't. Don't get me wrong. Roberts should be subjected to a rigorous, thorough, nomination process. He should be examined at the molecular level. If a judicial red flag emerges, then legislators should vote against him. But my guess is that one won't, and he will pass. He will pass because of the balance of power is in GOP hands, for sure, but he may also pass because he is an acceptable candidate.

Democrats have limited political capital and power at the moment. We would do well to acknowledge a compromise when it is staring us in the face. I would rather conserve resources and energy in anticipation of a larger fight later this year.


Dem der eyes

Judge Roberts. Forget for a moment his lack of experience. Ignore his 20 year history as a Republican hack. Set aside the coincidental timing that conveniently takes pressure off Rove.

What the hell is wrong with his eyes?

Dude is seriously freaky looking.


Ongoing Investigation: The Drinking Game

Check out Rocketboom's funny friday episode. It had to happen.


Reporter: Rove was first source on CIA leak
Special Prosecutor's Probe Centers on Rove, Memo, Phone Calls
Reporter ties Cheney aide to CIA story
Leak Probe Was Told of White House Interest in Wilson



Norm and Karl sittin in a tree...

I kind of like the idea of Norm Coleman tying his star to Karl Rove.

[NOTE: I fixed the link. sorry about that.]

JAGs objected to torture

For the first time, Judge Advocate Generals are revealing how they objected to redefining the status of "enemy combatants" as outside the Geneva Conventions. Their concerns are common sense: They were worried that abuses would occur and the public would be pissed off about it, which would lead to terrible consequences in the war on terror. If the apple breaks free of the limb, it will fall. It's predicctable.

Military Lawyers Fought Policy on Interrogations

At a Senate hearing yesterday, the judge advocate generals (JAGs) for the Army, Air Force and Marines said they expressed their concerns as the policy was being hashed out at the Pentagon in March and April 2003. Though their letters to the Defense Department's general counsel are classified, sources familiar with them said the lawyers worried that broadly defined, tough interrogation tactics would not only contravene long-standing military doctrine -- leaving too much room for interpretation by interrogators -- but also would cause public outrage if the tactics became known.

And later:

Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), ranking Democrat on the committee, asked the JAGs if they felt the tactics recently reported by investigators were consistent with Geneva Conventions prohibitions on torture. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Rives said he believed they were inconsistent. Levin also asked the generals if they would want U.S. prisoners of war treated that way.

"No, Senator, we would not," Rives said.

In an earlier post, I called for unity around thorny issues. This is one of them. These days, there is a shortage of non-political truth. The early conclusions of the JAGs are hard to dispute given all that has happened since they made their arguments. Can we come together on the suggestions of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsay O. Graham (R-S.C.), who argue:

...that perhaps Congress should legislate the definitions of enemy combatants and their official legal status, as well as the legal process for adjudicating their cases. They said the delays that have kept hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay without a single prosecution need to end.

One can only hope.

Support Rove!

After I watched Rove get raked over the coals in the media the last few days I started to feel sorry for the guy. I mean, after all, he was just doing his creepy sadistic job when he discredited a US Ambassador for disagreeing with his boss. His move in to full blown treason was just a glitch. A hiccup. It's time to Send him a letter of support

-----Original Message-----
From: [YOU]
Sent: [NOW]
To: Karl C. Rove [karl_c._rove@who.eop.gov]

Dear Karl Rove:

I just wanted to tell you that no matter how much indisputable evidence those fact-obsessed intellectual reporters release about you betraying America, I join the President in not caring diddly-squat about so-called national security when the only war that matters is the one we're waging against Democrats. So that makes you TOPS in my book! Anyway, however it happened, that bimbo Valerie Plame got what she deserved for marrying a moron who spouted crazy talk about Saddam bin Laden not having all those Nukepox Laser Deathrays you made President Bush promise we'd find. Heck, she should be happy that you only assassinated his CHARACTER!

Well, I would say don't let this 'Plame Game' get you down, but I'm sure you're already orchestrating your greatest-yet Machiavellian stratagem (replete with Clintonesque legalistic parsings) to slither out of doing any prison time - especially since you were polite enough not to use Mrs. Wilson's first name. So good luck with the indictments and likely cover-up conspiracy investigation, and next time you're whispering him sweet nothings, please tell Bob Novak I think his waxy tufts of silver ear hair are massively SEXY - in a totally non-homosexual way, of course!




Take the Michael Moore test


I’d like my pals on the right, who are cooking up reasons to justify Rove faster than shit through a goose, to take the Michael Moore test. If Mr. Moore had revealed the identity of a covert operative, whether she was on active assignment or not, whether he gave the name explicitly or just laid out for a reporter the means to find out, whether he even intended to reveal her identity or not, would you advocate that Moore merely be incarcerated for life, or would you go so far as to call for the death penalty as the traditional punishment for treason?

Durenberger on a roll

Mike over at Inside Minnesota Politics will have a hot interview with former Republican Senator Dave Durenberger up later this afternoon. Durenberger has some choice words for the Bush administration, Governor Pawlenty and Republicans in general. Here's a taste:

On Iraq:

“We were wrong. It was the wrong decision.I would have never voted for it…. Number one it was the wrong target. There are people we should be at war at, but it’s a whole different war.”

On Mark Kennedy:

“[Kennedy] is basically stuck in a Texas Republican party. It’s not a Minnesota party. He needs to be a Minnesota Republican. And I don’t mean necessarily the current so-called ‘from the business right’ or whatever the right is in Minnesota. Business, church, evangelical or something or other. But he needs to be what his instincts, what his upbringing in PequotLakes, what his education at St. John’s taught him to be – a compassionate conservative.”

On Tim Pawlenty trying to govern from the center:

"I bet on Tim Pawlenty to be that kind of Governor and I still would like to bet on him to be that kind of Governor. Although the evidence so far is… it’s kind of a stretch to find it at the current time.”

On who was damaged most politically by the state government shutdown:

“Here in Minnesota, the blame is going to lie on the Governor”

Minnesota Stories

I invite everyone to check out the daily Minnesota-themed videoblog launched today: Minnesota Stories.

Especially check out highlights from the Minneapolis crime meeeting Lorika and I attended this week. Minneapolis Police Chief McManus, along with two City Council members and others from the city, took a lot of heat from citizens angry about the increase in violent crime and decrease in police officers to handle it.

In spite of much contention, everyone agreed it's all about money and limited resources. In the video you'll see one prominent neighborhood citizen passionately plea: "Count me for $25/month on my property taxes.I want to give you $300/year so the cops got some resources. You are not understanding what the people want by continually underfunding the police department. [...] You need to use your powers to change it, you know - tax us. You know, it's a good thing." And there was much applause. A number of people also targeted Gov. Pawlenty and LGA cuts for the current state of affairs.

I encourage everyone, all political stripes, to pick up a video camera and submit something to Minnesota Stories. Details here.

Fight the Tinsel Aristocracy

Estate Tax Fight Hinges on Money, Morality

Ms. Aviv argues the estate tax moderates the growing gap between rich and poor. The revenues of the tax can help provide more opportunity for those not inheriting great wealth, she says.

"That is a moral argument ... a pretty strong one," she says.

Graetz notes that the American ideal is that people should start out in life from a relatively even position and face equality of opportunity. In that sense, the estate tax is the most progressive of taxes.

Today, the heirs of less than 1 in 100 estates pay any estate tax at all, since $1.5 million per individual and $3 million per couple of any inheritance is currently exempt. The effective rate in 2003 averaged about 19 percent of the estate, and less than that by now.

Most Americans disapprove of a hereditary aristocracy. But Americans are also enormously optimistic, with many believing that they will reach the top 1 percent in income during their lives, surveys show.

Although the sunset provision was a bit preposterous (prompting images of our rivers choked with the bodies of millionaires in December 2011), the idea of permanently repealing the estate tax is nonsensical. This country was founded on many ideals, among them the fact that inherited aristocracy is a bad thing. It was Thomas Jefferson who hoped that the "tinsel-aristocracy will shrink into insignificance" as the Republic grew. Now, it seems, Republicans want to not only grow but perpetuate a tinsel aristocracy. Although I'm not so idealistic that I believe a meritocracy really exists in the U.S., I like to think we should keep striving for one. Reinstating the estate tax will help ensure that American citizens can succeed because of hard work and individual merit, not because they've inherited a massive pile of unearned cash.

Locating a common ground

A Conservative Against Bush:

I am a Conservative Republican.

To me this means:

I support States'Rights.
I support Fiscal Responsiblity in Government.
I support Lower Taxes for everyone (not just the rich).
I believe in small governement.
I believe in self reliance and limited social programs.
I believe in a strong military.
I believe in policies that are beneficial for business YET responsible at the same time.
I am a Christian.
I believe in the Right to bear arms.
I believe in Family Values.
I believe in Truth, Honesty, Integrity, and Compassion.

So tell me why I am not a Republican? Because I do not blindly follow the Bush Administration over a cliff?

Bush has destroyed our budget, taken power away from the States, created more government, and is not honest nor does he have integrity.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the NeoConservatives do not share the same Republican Values I share. They want to dominate the world through military might. I do not beleive in this.

To accomplish their goals they are willing to bankrupt the United States, build new huge government departments, and sacrifice the economic well being of this country. Why other Republicans don't see this is beyond me.

Or have all Republicans become NeoConservatives? Is that it? Are there no real Republicans left? Is it all about Federal Power, Military Dominance, and controling the world at the expense of the American People? Is that what the Republican Party is now about?

Me, I'm practically a socialist, but I'll fight alongside this guy any day. [via Triptych Cryptic]


Scotty in the hot seat


MCCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish.

QUESTION: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything.

You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?

MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

There's lots more where that came from. Is the White House Press Corps finally growing a spine?

Nah, more likely it's just a nervous reaction from the corps' twitching corpse. But I'll take what I can get.


Majority Retort

Tom The Dancing Bug:

Some people seem forget there's a reason we have separation of Church and State.

Freedom of religion can't exist without separation of Church and State.

Separation of Church and State allows wack-jobs like Tom Cruise to believe whatever they want. But it also allows evangelicals, Roman Catholics, atheists, Lutherans, Sunni Muslims, Shi'ite Muslims, deists, Eastern Orthodox, Jews, Hindus, and many others including your church to practice their religions as they see fit.


A house divided will fall

Americans must immediately begin to place the London bombing in a wider context of the global war on terror. We do not have all the facts as yet. It will take months to assemble them. We do not know if was carried out by British Jihadies or Muslim veterans from the Iraqi war. One thing is for sure, it is time for both sides to put away ideology and political ambition in favor of a unified American strategy in the war on terror.

It is very difficult for people who opposed the war on strategic grounds, and I count myself among them, to resist the urge to continue to expose the utter stupidity of the decision to invade Iraq. In my opinion, current events bear out that it was precisely the wrong thing to do. I believe Bush's deceptive bait-and-switch case for war combined with his cavalcade of incompetence in stabilizing the country after the invasion make him impeachable. Indeed, I believe he deserves to be impeached.

In response to 9-11 Bush set up a Graduate School for terrorists. We will be feeling the effects of its graduates for decades. London may very well be the first of many. Unfortunately we can't afford the luxury of dealing out blame. The salient fact isn't that Bush facilitated the creation of the Iraqi University for Terrorists. The salient fact is that there now exists an Iraqi University for Terrorists.

Liberals and progressives must not continue to focus on the decision to invade Iraq in any context except to avoid such mistakes in the future. Though no president deserves to be impeached more than Bush, we must not focus on impeaching him. We must focus instead on creating and supporting a meaningful strategy that includes the best of the conservative offerings. I call for liberals and democrats across Minnesota to begin to acknowledge the complexity of the Global War on Terror. Responding to it may mean we have to reconsider some of our more utopian ideals. This may include a re-examination of the Patriot Act. We do not need to dismantle civil liberties in this country, but we must acknowledge that law enforcement needs additional power to find and track down those who seek to indiscriminately kill us. We must not ever condone torture, under any circumstances. We must continue to provide full accountability for our actions in an international context. But we must acknowledge that the war on terror produces captives that defy traditional categorization - those that are neither civil prisoner nor prisoner of war. It is wise to construct a place, such as Guantanamo Bay for them to land. We must acknowledge now, today, that we have to do whatever it takes to dismantle the Iraqi Terrorist University - and that means doing what we must to help the armed forces meet its recruitment goals. It means adopting soldiers and supporting the troops. It probably means sending our kids to recruiting stations, though as a father with four sons, I am loath to admit it. I am especially resistant to it because I have so little trust in the current administration. But that could change if Republicans reached across the aisle to help America build a realistic strategy on the war on terror.

In pursuit of a realistic strategy in the global war on terror, Conservatives should set aside any defense of the Iraqi invasion. Republicans should acknowledge, today, that their leadership built the Iraqi University for Terrorists. Republicans must drop the smug facade and spin that we are winning in Iraq. They must come forward with an honest appeal that includes realistic assessments of the size of the insurgency in Iraq. They must stop relating the invasion to 9.11. If my government is going to ask me to sacrifice one of my children, by God I want the truth.

Republicans must acknowledge that the Global War on Terror is not primarily a military exercise. It is primarily an exercise in creating sustainable, international relationships among free nations, law enforcement agencies, economic institutions and political groups. Together these groups must slowly, inexorably wring the terrorist poison from the fabric of society. Republicans must realize, today, right now, that the US cannot continue to staff, fund and fight the war on terror alone. This will require them to set aside some of their most closely held ideals. For example, they must begin to actively sustain and support the UN. They must send a true diplomat to the UN to ask for massive international help. Republicans should jettison any ideological litmus testing with regards to staffing technical positions in nation building roles in favor of field tested veterans from either party. Republicans could drop all wedge issues like gay marriage and abortion in favor of unifying the country around dismantling the Iraqi Terrorist University. Republicans could fully cooperate with all efforts to get control over the financial excesses of the contractors supposedly doing the hard work in Iraq. Republicans could repudiate Karl Rove when he shoots off his mouth and denigrates all Democrats as cowards. Republicans could actively end systematic efforts to marginalize Democrats.

Mind you, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of the sacrifices we must all make in pursuit of creating a unified America. But creating a unified America has to be our first priority. We had better all start turning a very cold eye on anything that truly divides us. Start with your neighbor. It isn't going to matter what party you are from when the bomb goes off on the bus.


Damn it

I was at the Detroit airport today when I caught a glimpse of CNN's coverage of the terrorist attacks in London. In my rush, I thought that 700 people had been killed. For my entire flight, this number weighed on my mind. Only after I landed did I learn that there were 700 wounded, not killed. Thank God it wasn't that bad.

From everything I've read about Al Qaeda, these attacks fit with their style. The embassy bombings. 9/11. Bali. Spain. Now London. How long before they are able to strike the United States again?

My God.

Al Qaeda must be stopped.

Let's not let our differences over Iraq hinder that goal. All civilized nations must come together to destroy al Qaeda. And we must quench their support in the Muslim world, which sustains al Qaeda. Only by doing that can real victory be won.

Sadly, that's a much harder task, and there is little agreement on how to do it. Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer argues that easy-out rhetoric like "they hate our freedom" is counterproductive. Al Qaeda has very specific foreign policy goals, many of which are shared with a good portion of the Islamic world, which in turn sympathizes with Al Qaeda. For many, bending to Islamic popular demands on issues like Palestine are out of the question. My reading of Scheuer's book indicates that he thinks in this case, we'd better get good at killing. Innocents included.

I am not optimistic today.


Adrift in the ethical abyss...

I watched Andrea Mitchell sub in for Chris Mathews on Hardball tongight. She was blathering on about the Plame case. The focus of the discussion was whether or not journalists should be prosecuted for protecting their sources in the face of federal prosecution. It is a an indicator of the sorry state of US media that journalists seem to be discussing Judith Miller's and and Mathew Cooper's "resistance" to the federal prosecutor instead of the real issue: Some coward in the Whitehouse deliberately outed a working United States CIA Operative because her husband said the wrong thing.

I'm sorry, but treason trumps journalistic rights. Journalists ought to know the difference. Bob Novak certainly should have known the difference. Judith Miller should know the difference. Matt Cooper should know the difference. We should all know the difference. Journalists are afforded the right to gather information anonymously and publish it in order to expose corruption. They do not get to do it to do something entirely corrupt in and of itself.

This is not the case of an investigative reporter funneling key whistleblower information to the public to save lives or money. This is an act where a journalist published secret information that caused real damage to US security in the war on terror - even if it is difficult to quantify that damage. If a digruntled "source" leaked classified information about troop movements in Iraq, or gave information about a security hole in the Pentagon's IT infrastructure to a reporter, and that reporter was stupid enough to publish it - would we then hold that reporter unaccountable for the act? No we would not. And we should not.

Now I understand that neither Miller, Cooper, even Novak, may have known that the information given them was as damaging as it turned out to be. But now we know. And the source certainly knew as the words flew across his or her lips. All three of them should be sprinting to the door of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and begging to testify. It's the honorable thing to do.

As for the rest of the media, have you forgotten what your job is? A gentle reminder from one of your best customers:

Go find out who exposed Valerie Plame. Publish that name. Go to jail protecting that source.


Dayton and flag burning

Sen. Dayton came out in favor of the flag burning amendment again this year. With no re-election pressure, I guess we can assume that Dayton actually believes in that claptrap.


Happy Independence Day


To celebrate, here's a fine old video clip of one American I admire, Joe Trippi:

Joe Trippi [Quicktime, 9 MB]

Now, be a good citizen and relearn about the American Revolution. Then take your pants off and light some fireworks, and post it on your blogvlog.


Playing the Plame game - Rove did it

This will bear watching very closely:

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case

Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Friday night, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.

If this is true - will anyone honestly be surprised?


Making the case against the Shutdown Party

New DFL chair Brian Melendez tears into the state's Republican leadership.

The DFL-led Senate did its job yesterday by passing a `lights on' bill that would have kept the government open while negotiations continued toward a permanent budget. Every DFLer in the Senate, and every DFLer in the House, voted for this bill, which was clearly necessary and should have been uncontroversial.

But with one exception, every Republican in both the House and the Senate voted in favor of shutting down the government.

For weeks, the Senate DFLers have been offering proposal after proposal, in the hope of negotiating a compromise that would have kept the state government open. But Governor Pawlenty wouldn't even come to the table until this week. And when the Governor's tactics had finally driven the government to the brink of shutdown, the Senate DFLers passed the only bill under consideration that would have kept the government open. But the Republicans instead voted in favor of a shutdown.

Every single DFL legislator voted to make sure that the state's workers weren't hung out to dry when government shut down. Almost every House and Senate Republican voted to shut down government. The Republicans are holding Minnesota hostage because they aren't willing to compromise. By voting against the "lights on" bill and in favor of a shutdown, the Governor and the House Republicans sent a message that they won't support the over 9,000 state employees and the millions of Minnesotans they represent by keeping the government open. The DFL Party is determined to fix this terrible situation, to stop using people's lives as bargaining chips, and to get the work of the people done.

Steve Sviggum and his ilk aren't going to pin this on the DFL without a fight.

Buckle in.

Sandra Day O'Connor announces retirement.

On the plus side: No more "Sandy Says" laws.

On the minus side: Do I even need to mention it?

Update: Please check out Bill Scher's post about this from a couple of months ago:

Keep in mind that in the first 24 hours after any nomination, the whole ballgame will be whether or not the GOP can successfully portray the pick as a “mainstream conservative.”

It will be our job in those 24 hours – on the blogs, on talk radio, in letters to the editor -- to argue that the views of him or her are far too extreme and harmful to Americans to merit a lifetime appointment.

Bill has some ideas about how to do that, and suggests that we begin researching the potential nominees now to get ready.


Zogby International:

President Bush’s televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.

The impeachment sentiment is even more mainstream than I thought. Around 50% on the coasts and in blue states. Demand accountability.