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Saturday, May 28, 2005

But We Absolutely Draw the Line at Desecrating the Koran

From the US Marine Corp web site, via The Liberal Avenger.


Lazy Saturday Meme Blogging


The Disgruntled Chemist passed me this meme:

Three names you go buy (that won't give away your identity): I guess I'm not much of a nickname person, a couple of people in my past have called me "Janie" but it never really stuck.

Three screen names you've had: I occasionally borrow the dog's names -- Kobe Rose (Kobe's name is Kobe Matisse Rose, but I only gave him the Kobe part, he came with the rest), Katie Nichols (because of our house in Nichols Canyon), and LucyDogg. I try not to say anything that would embarrass them.

Three physical things you like about yourself: Since the question is pointedly about things that I like, not what other people like, that narrows it down -- I have good skin, a small waist and nice hands.

Three physical things you don't like about yourself: Thin hair, short legs, and the natural coloring of Sissy Spacek in a blizzard.

Three parts of your heritage: Irish, German and Cherokee Indian.

Three things you are wearing right now: Loony Tunes t-shirt, Ugg boots and a sports bra.

Three favorite bands/musical artists: Today? Ralph Stanley, Sonny Rollins and the Velvet Underground. It will be different tomorrow. Maybe even later today.

Three favorite songs: Oh that's just too hard. How about three songs I'm loving right now? The Jeff and Vida Band's Blessed But Not Favored, The Czars' Paint the Moon, and Tammy Faye Starlight's Highway 69.

Three things you want in a relationship: Love of dogs (specifically MY dogs), natural antipathy to Tucker Carlson, ability to clear a jammed vacuum cleaner.

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeals you: Healthy appetite, thoughtful expression, stronger than me (I don't want to have to do all the heavy lifting).

Three of your favorite hobbies: cooking, quilting, pyromania.

Three things you want to do really badly right now: Own a luxury SUV that gets 50 mpg, finish my paintings that are due on Tuesday, spoon with Katie.

Three things that scare you: Big ships, "family values," large gatherings of white people.

Three of your everyday essentials: Coffee and a muffin with Kobe, tennis ball launcher, high-speed internet.

Three careers you have considered/are considering: Trapeze artist, roller derby queen, putting out oil well fires.

Three place you want to go on vacation: Chandigahr, Brasilia, Machu Picchu.

Three kids' names you like: Stromille, Lattrell, Moochie.

Three things you want to do before you die: Have a one-woman gallery show in New York, teach the dogs to sit when someone comes to the door, bake pies with Patti Smith.

Three ways you are stereotypically a boy: I eat fast food, love basketball and hate to ask for directions.

Three ways you are stereotypically a girl: I feel guilty about eating fast food, watch basketball for its soap-opera qualities and will eventually break down and admit I don't know where I am..

Three celeb crushes: Nick Lea, Ed Harris, George Lynch (of the Hornets, not Dokken).

I guess it's my turn to pass it on, so I'll hand it off to J. Crowley at Enter the Jabberwock, the guys at Alternate Brain (who will write about their cool wives, I like that) and Mark at Recidivist Journals (because I think we need the unabashedly gay Brit voice here, and also because he has an excellent vocabulary).


Portrait of a Senator as a Major Chump

Remember John Thune (R-SD) and the suckers citizens of South Dakota who railroaded Tom Daschle out of the Senate on the word of Bill Frist who said he'd use his clout to keep Ellsworth airforce base open if Thune was elected? Thune himself claimed he'd "have the President's ear." Well, when the latest round of base closings were announced, it looks like his ear wasn't the part of his anatomy that Fearless Leader made available to Thune. At the top of the list? Yep, Ellsworth.

There aren't a lot of political options open to a freshman senator, so Thune is flexing his muscle in the only way he can -- he's turning obstructionist. Although Thune told Mr. Yell-o-vision in April that he thought Bolton was the man for the UN job, he announced Friday that he would not support the nomination, and alluded to the fact that it was in protest over the Ellsworth closing. He's also joining the efforts of Olympia Snow to introduce legislation forcing the Pentagon to release data behind the recommended base closings, which obviously means that I wasn't the only one who suspects the specifics of the closings were at the very least equal parts politics and pragmatism.

And although Mary Landreiu (D-LA) was one of three Democrats who voted for cloture yesterday on the Bolton nomination, she announced Friday that she would vote "no" on the nomination if it came to an up or down vote, based on Bolton's "pattern of poor judgment and inappropriate behavior." The time Harry Reid bought when he hoodwinked Frist on Thursday seems to be working in the Democrats' favor.

But over at, there was an interesting conversation on the curious absence of Arlen Spector (R-PA) when the Senate voted for cloture. He took off to go have chemotherapy, but he didn't seem to tell Bill Frist, who held the vote from closing for 50 minutes while they tried to find Specter. Some are speculating that Specter bailed so that fellow moderates didn't have to vote in open defiance of the White House to assure that the Bolton nomination went down.

Which means that if the moderate Republicans were also conspiring behind Frist's back in addition to Harry Reid's superb bluff (lying to him about the number of Democrats in support of cloture) it's no wonder the eminent Doctor and erstwhile cat killer looked so gobsmacked when he came up 4 votes short. Prospects for Frist 2008 must be looking awfully dim with BushCo. commanding him to piss up a rope while so many factions are vying for the opportunity to mount his head on a pole.

This is definitely turning into the best spectator sporting event of the season.


Friday, May 27, 2005

This Week in Dog: The Tragic Brain Death of Britney Spears

The poodles have been quite atwitter this week on the news that poor Britney Spears' boobs have finally exploded and the silicone has made its way to her brain stem.

Lucy (seen above) suspected some encephalopathy (swelling of the brain) when Britney first uttered those fateful words in Farenheit 9/11, "Honestly, I think we should just trust our President." But when details began to emerge that she routinely sent her private jet cross country solely for the purpose of fetching coffee from West Hollywood's Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Katie argued for damage from cerebral anoxia, due to the fact that she also exhibited all the indicators of Gerstmann's Syndrome -- difficulty in writing (agraphia), difficulty with mathematics (acalculia), distortions of language (aphasia) and the inabililty to perceive objects normally (agnosia). Or, countered Lucy, she might just be really, really stupid.

But with the recent news that Britney has given her dog Lucky away because her new husband Kevin Federline did not like him, Kobe has convinced us all that nothing short of a silicone coating of the brain that prohibited any kind of neural activity whatsoever could possibly account for such symptoms. Katie and Lucy applauded Kobe's bold and comprehensive theory, which is really the only way to explain how anyone with the capacity to chew gum and walk erect would want to be in close extended proximity with a man who was incapable of forging a relationship with a chihuaua.

Once again, their mom wonders at the remarkable compassion of the young bodhisattavas. She herself thinks the dithering princess of pap should be cast into some dysphoric bardo of hell where she is forced to listen to her own music.


GOP = Grossly Out Played

Harry Reid is one hell of a poker player. He's been drawing to a nothing hand while Bill Frist's holding a full boat, and yet the Democrats walked away with a big-ass pile o' political chips yesterday when they managed to keep the Bolton confirmation from coming to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

In the NY Times, the Republicans are claiming that Reid faked Frist out, told him that there were in fact enough Democratic votes for cloture (closing the debate and sending the nomination for an up-or-down vote) which is why Frist called for it. To which, if true, I give my best Nelson Muntz "Ha-ha." Frist now looks like a fool and wound up having to vote himself against cloture since only someone who voted with the prevailing side can move to reconsider.

The final vote tally was a comfortable 56-42 (the Republicans needed 60), with Harry Reid able to let Pryor, Landrieu and Ben Nelson off-leash to vote against cloture for cover in their conservative home states. Even Joementum toed the line, apparently feeling the need to prove he is actually a Democrat after state town chairs let him know over the weekend that his party support was thinner than Joe Biden's hair.

Frist is screaming that this is a violation of the deal made whereby the Democrats would not filibuster, but that deal was only for judicial nominees, try though Frist might to cross-pollinate it. And technically it's not a filibuster at all, because the Democrats are not blocking the nomination from coming up for a vote (where the nomination would only need a simple majority to pass), they are merely waiting on documents about Bolton that the white house has so far refused to provide regarding a battle he waged in 2003 over intelligence assessments on Syria.

The Senate will now be in recess and the vote is put off until June 7, during which time the white house has, as far as I can see, four options:

1) Do nothing and let Frist move to reconsider the vote for cloture. Even Joementum told Ed Schultz this afternoon that he would stand with the Democrats until the white house complied with the request for documents. I don't see it happening. Specter and Inouye were the only two that weren't present to cast votes; even if they came back and voted with the majority, as did Frist, they'd still be one vote shy. (In case anyone is keeping score, George Don't Cry For Me Argentina Voinovich cast his vote for cloture.)

2) Give up the documents. Even if there is absolutely nothing damning in them, Bush is WAY TO ARROGANT to bend to the will of the Democrats like that. It would be a HUGE sign that the Good Ship Wingnut is bursting at the gunwales. More likely they will try to offer up some heavily redacted version of the requested documents then cry that the Democrats are being obstructionists.

3) Give Bolton a recess appointment. It is possible, over the 10 day recess, that Bush could make an appointment under Article II, section 2, clause 3 of the Constitution which says "The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session." Such an appointment would last until the end of the second session (in 2007), at which time Bolton would have to receive formal confirmation of the Senate to remain in office.

Is Bush arrogant enough to "back door" Bolton? Yes. But I can't imagine it happening. It would give the Democrats all the cover they need to shut down the Senate, something it appears that big business is very much against. According to Think Progress, one of the reasons the compromise was made this week is because there are a number of business friendly bills coming up and the big money doesn't want them delayed by Senate squabbling. And when the interests of the religious right (in getting their judges) rub up against those of big business (in getting their CA$H), you know who's going to win.

4) Bush could withdraw the nomination completely. Right. On that day when pigs will most assuredly fly.

You can count on the fact that there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth going on in the white house this holiday weekend as Bush finds himself backed into an extremely uncomfortable corner fashioned and fitted for him by Harry Reid and company. In the end Bolton may well be confirmed as many are predicting, but I'm not altogether certain. And in the meantime it's nice to see the Democrats throw the cat killer a good Memorial Day beating.

I for one will be stocking up on popcorn.

To which you say....?


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Pour Me Another Beer, Chester, and I'll Tell You the One About Newsweek

It appears that there might be a half-life for Kool-Aid after all. John Cole, a conservative blogger over at Balloon Juice, on the new FBI memos regarding the flushing of the Koran:
To be brutally honest, it wouldn't really bother me if they flushed the Koran, as the book is essentially meaningless to me. I guess part of me would say- "Gee, you shouldn't really do that, because many will see it as really offensive," but that is about it.

That isn't the way we decided to fuck this football, though. Wiser heads than mine, or at the very least, people in a position to make these decisions, chose to approach the whole Islam issue from a standpoint of extreme sensitivity. We said, from day one, that we wouldn't violate any of these rules we had just created for religious tolerance and respect for Islamic rituals and artifacts....

Right now, the overwhelming evidence is that some sort of this was and may be still going on, and it doesn't offend me that it is happening so much out of the fact that they are doing it (the alleged and actual acts of Koran and religious abuses- not the torture. The torture infurtiates me.), but the fact that we said we would not be doing it and yet it appears to be happening anyway. In other words, we set up the rules and then went ahead and broke them.

Many of you still wish to cling to the idea that it never in any way, shape, or form, occurred. That just doesn't fit the overwhelming evidence that some religious-type abuses did occur. That means we would have to disbelieve all of the following:

1.) The detainees and their lawyers
2.) Military personnel themselves
3.) FBI reports and experiences
4.) The ACLU
5.) The International Red Cross
6.) Amnesty International


And yes, I know the track records of all of those organizations, particularly the last three. I know that International Red Cross ambulances have been used by murderers and bomb smugglers in Israel. But, at some point, even if you have 400 known liars gathered together, when they all have the same damned story to tell, only a fool would dismiss their claims.


I guess that means we need a talking points update:

1.) Newsweek Lied, People Died!
2.) The media hates the military.
3.) Why are they using anonymous sources?
1.) Why is the media recycling old stories?
5.) 2.) You can't trust those terrorists.
6.) 3.) Even if it is true, you shouldn't publish it- we are at war.
7.) 4.) You can't trust Newsweek and the Washington Post Reuters.
5.) What about the children?
Now if we could just get it out of the water cooler at Connected. I'm thinking of starting a Free Monica campaign.

(via Mahablog)


Oregon Drug Laws: Brought to You By Your Good Friends at Pfizer

I'm being nice today:
TO: Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian

Dear Mr. Mapes,

I read your article today on Oregon's move to be the first state in the country to ban all forms of cold tablets that could be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. I found it curious that there was no mention of the fact that the drug companies, led by Pfizer, fought any sort of limitation on the sale of these drugs for years, and Oregon was extremely compliant. When the tragic death of a police officer in Oklahoma finally led them to pass a bill requiring such drugs be kept behind store counters, and there was a subsequent dramatic reduction in meth-lab seizures, states such as Oregon fell in line.

Pfizer then saw the writing on the wall, and decided it could regain its shelf space if it used a form of pseudoephedrine it could have been using all along that could not be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. In fact, they got the jump on the competition with a factory that is already underway in Germany. Now they are running around the country aggressively pushing for a complete ban on all their competitors' drugs, and once again, it looks like Oregon is being compliant. I find it hard to believe Pfizer has had a sudden burst of altruism.

How do I know all this? I was told by members of the Oregon Drug Task Force in a recent Newport town meeting on the meth epidemic, with State Rep. Alan Brown and Senator Joanne Verger in attendance. I wrote about it on my blog.

I think this is an important part of the story that should be covered. Is this current action being taken because it will have any effect on the meth problem, or simply to clear the competition away for Pfizer?

Jane Hamsher
In case anyone cares, most of the meth in the state comes from large out-of-state meth labs. When I went to the Newport town hall meeting on meth, nobody on the task force gave any indication that taking a step like this would aid them in any way -- the only thing that they mentioned was Pfizer wanting to take out the competition. If any dumbshit like me can wander into a Drug Task Force dog & pony show and figure this out, what's up with the lazy journalism? (Okay maybe not so nice.)


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Michael Jackson - Down the Charts and Up the River?

A while back I did a Michael Jackson post and said it would be the last one I ever did.

I lied.

The defense rested its case and today many pundits were making their predictions about the outcome. So here are mine:

Child molestation - guilty. No matter what a cheap hustler and awful person that mother is, I doubt a jury will subsequently leap to the belief that it automatically didn't happen. And I don't think there is anything they can do to erase the testimony by that other kid who claimed he was molested; he is now an adult and reportedly bears an astonishing resemblance to the purported victim. (Note -- there are seven counts, I don't know that all of them will stick, but I'm betting at least one will.)

Serving alcohol to a minor with the intent to commit a felony - guilty. Some were saying this might be the compromise position if there are hold-outs who won't vote guilty on molestation, but since the charge is not serving alcohol per se but serving it with the intent to commit a felony (in this case, molest), it's hard to see them finding him guilty on this and not on the molestation charges.

Conspiracy - I don't know that it didn't happen but I don't think they proved it. Of all of the charges the most likely not to stick, so I'm going with not guilty. I think that may be the compromise position.

Oh and for the record, I think they ABSOLUTELY did the right thing not putting Michael on the chair; celebrities often have a really distorted perception about how people are reacting to the things they say since they are rarely subject to anyone calling them on their shit like normal people are. I just don't think the guy has the slightest clue how to appear "normal."

But what do I know, I didn't think they proved the Scott Peterson case either and he got the chair.

So what does your crystal ball say?


Frist Bows to Graven Image, Sells Out Deal?

The screams of "betrayal!" are already wafting through the blogosphere as Bill Frist announced that he will file for cloture on William Myers later this week. As late as Monday night, Frist said he would abide by the agreement reached by the seven Republican moderates and brokered by John McCain and Lindsey Graham, whereby Myers and Henry Saad would either be "filibustered or withdrawn."

I don't know what everyone is upset about. Frist is abiding by the deal.

The deal was reached with the seven moderates, not Frist, whereby they would not support the cat killer in his motion to kill the filibuster. Got it? As to Myers and Saad, the Democrats have an option -- they will be allowed to filibuster -- and the Republicans have an option. They can withdraw Myers and Saad, or not. Frist chose not.

Anyone surprised? Don't be. As was noted in an earlier post, I'm sure both Frist and Fearless Leader spent the day getting cornholed by Mullah Dobson for their failure Monday to kill the filibuster, which meant the path was not cleared for Dobson to appoint whatever foaming loonie he chooses to the Supreme Court this summer. Dobson's statement:
"We are grateful to Majority Leader Frist for courageously fighting to defend the vital principle of basic fairness. That principle has now gone down to defeat. We share the disappointment, outrage and sense of abandonment felt by millions of conservative Americans who helped put Republicans in power last November."
Translation: Bill you is my bitch -- I made you, and I can break you. You will now dance to my unholy tune.

Anyone who doesn't get that can't read plain English.

So now the dutiful Frist, his political career being circled by sharks from both sides, has chosen what he believes will be the lesser of two evils -- he'll test the resolution of the moderates. Good luck to him. McCain and Graham emerged as the new power brokers of the Senate with this deal, and polls showed popular opinion championing them as heroes. I don't see them sabotaging that to make Frist look good to Dobson.

Far more worrisome is the rumor that this new moderate coalition sees themselves fashioning some deal on Social Security. If that happens, we may just wind up having to string up Lieberman after all.

Jeebus. Will these guys just give off for a while so I can answer some overdue email and write my post on the Right to Privacy?


Paris Hilton's Republican Family Values

Carl Karcher has always been a big family values guy, famous for backing ultra-right wing causes such as California's Prop 6, which would've made it illegal for any California public school to hire gay teachers (to which he donated $1 million) and the Right to Life League, a group that calls for a ban on all abortions.

Well nothing says "family values" to me like a semi-pro porn star soaped up and squatting on a Bentley. Coming on the heels of that creepy "fetuses are people too" spot, the new Carl's Junior Paris Hilton ad plays to all the most lurid and tacky right-wing women-are-all-dirty-whores fantasies and perpetuates the notion that they are, in fact, base irresponsible creatures who cannot be trusted with dominion over their own bodies. With pants around ankles the faithful cheer for the fundamentalist wrecking crew who would fashion some Margaret Atwood dystopia that saves young Paris from herself, where she can just do her job and breed, hopefully with an osteopath from Akron named Herb whose only other joy in life is a peerless karaoke rendition of Panama.

Fifty bucks says none of the should-be-on-thorazine-but-aren't outfits currently at Defcon 3 over this thing ever mention Karcher's name.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Dobson On the Rag

Dobson's anger today must be akin to a rage-filled diety ready to fling Lucifer down from a Wal-Mart heaven. Because Bunnypants was loud and proud this morning doing the fundie shuffle, threatening to use his veto power for the first time over the two bills Congress is taking up today that would ease restrictions on federal government financing of stem cell research:
House passage of the embryonic stem cell bill would be a rare direct challenge to President Bush, who has consistently threatened to veto any legislation that tried to widen federal support for research using stem cells from human embryos. Mr. Bush, who has seen both houses of Congress controlled by Republicans throughout his presidency, has yet to veto any legislation since he took office in 2001. (NYT)
Although that's been Bunnypants' position all along, I'm sure he's working overtime today to publicly placate Dobson over Republican failure to break the filibuster yesterday, as well as what appears to be a collective congressional flight from the death-grip of the right wing. Kos, who is nothing if not a crafty political mind, boils it down quite nicely:
. If the filibuster was dead, Bush would've been able to put anyone on the Supreme Court. Anyone.

. Radical Christian Rightist James Dobson is demanding the right to choose the next Supreme Court nominee.

. Dobson's biggest enemy is the filibuster. Hence, he forced Frist to engage in the nuclear option.

. Because of the deal, Dobson can't choose the next Supreme Court justice. Bush's choice, if too extreme, faces the prospect of a filibuster.
I'm channeling the image of Dobson, Rumplestiltskin-like, stomping his foot through the floorboards of a rotting Republican party that neither Frist nor Rove seem to be able to keep in line. It might not be a sweet day to be a liberal, but if you're spittle-flinging mouthbreather, it's gotta suck.

BTW, it was really touching when Bunnypants talked about the 80 kids born this year as a result of adopted embryos from in vitro fertilization. That leaves only 169,920 that are created annually only to be destroyed. Anyone want to tell me when he's gonna go all biblical and pro-life on that one?


Monday, May 23, 2005

In Defense of the Compromise

I'm quite a bit to the left of Harry Reid on almost everything and I'm not a member of his cheering section when it comes to ideology, but like many others I've admired the leadership he's shown being outnumbered in the Senate by 10 members. And you can call me a sell-out if you want, but when push comes to shove I am pretty much of a pragmatist and I think the current compromise on judicial nominees was a smart move for the following reasons:

1. The Democrats didn't have the votes. If they did, I have no doubt Reid would've pushed it. The alternative was having the Repugs vote away their right to filibuster when Rehnquist vacates the Supreme Court this summer (which he will almost assuredly do) AND jam all of their Circuit Court nominees through. The only option open to the Democrats at that point would be to bring the Senate to a grinding halt. (Which I'm certainly in favor of -- I just don't think now's the time.)

2. Right now, the Circuit courts are stacked with Republicans, and the current nominees who are being granted up-or-down votes -- Brown (DC), Owen (5th) and Pryor (11th) -- aren't going to make that much difference in the balance of things. The 11th out of Atlanta and the 5th out of New Orleans are wingnut nightmares, and there is already a 5-4 majority on the DC court.

On the other hand, those that are not being granted up-or-down votes could affect the balance of certain key Circuit Courts, and the others are just downright dangerous:

William Myers - 9th - The only Circuit Court remaining with a strong Democratic majority is the 9th in San Francisco. Myers is the only one of Bush's noxious appointment earmarked for the 9th. Keeping him out of there was crucial.

Henry Saad - 6th Circuit - The 6th in Cincinnati is right now evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Letting Saad on would've given Republicans a clear majority.

Brett Kavanaugh (DC) - Ken Starr's protege, he co-authored Starr Report's section on grounds for impeachment. He also played key role in defending BushCo's unprecedented claims to executive branch secrecy. There was just no way the Democrats could let this guy be repaid for that kind of partisan hackery.

William Haynes - 4th Circuit - played a central role in the decision to hold American citizens as enemy combatants with no access to courts or counsel, and also the decision to hold detaineees at Guantanamo without protection of the Geneva Convention. According to the People for the American Way, "His duties include developing and overseeing legal standards for military personnel which failed to prevent and may have actually helped produce torture and mistreatment of US detainees in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere."

3. Shutting down the government over this could've turned into a P.R. nightmare for the Democrats. Maybe Frist will decide to go nuclear over some Supreme Court nominee if the Democrats do, indeed, filibuster, but the public are much more likely to become aware of what is at stake in a Supreme Court nomination. Most people probably don't know who the Circuit Court appointments are, and wouldn't think it was worth bringing the wheels of government to a standstill over them. If the Democrats do intend to take this option, and I'm certainly not against it -- better a congress that gets nothing done than one that keeps passing awful bills for the benefit of MBNA -- it will play out better over a high profile case and a Dobson-appointed judge that will rate much higher in public awareness, such that the stakes become clearer and it doesn't turn around and blow up in the Democrats' face.

Bottom line: if the Democrats are going to go balls-to-the-wall, it would be better timed over a Supreme Court nominee.

4. It is pissing off the Freepers, Dobson and Assmissile, who see this as Frist's failure to go in for the kill. Dobson and his ilk have been angry that Bush didn't move on the Defense of Marriage Act, and feel they were poorly used in the last election. They want to be repaid for their efforts, and this was supposed to be it. They would be happy with nothing less than each and every one of these reactionary judges being jammed down the throats of the Democrats who dared oppose them. It didn't happen. They are screaming in outrage, and quite frankly, they ought to be -- their boy Frist obviously had the votes. How come he couldn't deliver? Why did they have to compromise anything? Fault Harry Reid for not being able to sway one more Republican if you will, but Frist couldn't control his own moderates. It looks bad for the kitty killer, no matter how you look at it.



Me & Gordon Smith

According to The Note this morning, Harry Reid has 49 votes, 2 votes shy of what he needs to preserve the filibuster. The four Republican senators Most Likely To are evidently Arlen Specter (PA), John Warner (VA), Mike Dewine (OH) and Chuck Hagel (NE). Evidently the Freepers are off their meds this morning and bombarding them with calls, so if you live in one of these states PLEASE take a minute and call them and tell them politely you urge them to support a bipartisan effort to preserve the filibuster. That is, if you want it preserved. If you don't, well, go have a beer or something, it really isn't that important.

As promised, I called Gordon Smith's office (541 465-6750) this morning. It was really simple. "Gordon Smith's Office..." "Yes, I'm an Oregon resident and I want to urge Senator Smith to preserve the filibuster." "Can I have your name?" "Jane Hamsher." "Thank you, I'll pass it along." It was that easy. (I kept my comments about the hair to myself.)

From looking up the number to making the call it took all of two minutes. The links above should save you about 30 seconds of Googling. Just in case you were wondering.


Countdown to Nukular

Unless some deal is in the offing, we'll see a vote on the nuclear option this week. Over at the Left Coaster, Steve Soto leaves no doubt about the ultimate goal of the ReThugs:
They want to install Bill Rehnquist's successor with only 51 votes, and to be able to fill any additional Supreme Court vacancies the next three and a half years with only 50 votes plus Dick Cheney. That's the whole ballgame for the GOP. How they get there, and what they trash in the process doesn't matter.

Since Cornyn has stated it so clearly, this is exactly why the Democrats should refuse to give up the filibuster. There is no reason for Democrats to negotiate anything on this. Why? Because we are talking about nominees:

-to the highest court in the land;
-who get lifetime appointment;
-nominated without any attempt at bipartisanship;
-by a man with approval ratings well below 50%;
-who won office allegedly with only 51% of the vote;
-pushed by a party wholly-owned by religious fanatics.

And we are talking about the GOP changing the rules after they acquire all the levers of power.
It's a pretty dismal picture. But do the ReThugs have the votes? Josh Marshall doesn't think so. He concurs with a reader who says:
Actually I do not think Frist can win a vote on the nuclear option. When crunch time comes I believe just enough Republicans will decide against violating both the rules of the Senate and permanently weakening the Senate vis a vis the Executive.
One of my senators, Gordon Smith, is a ReThug who is up for re-election in 2006 in a fairly liberal state, and of late he's been pushing a more moderate agenda and distancing himself from the Mullahs like cat-killer Frist. I'm pledging here to call his office today and remind him that whatever his vote, he'll be wearing it around his neck in 2006. Only much nicer than that. I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Tell 'em to Break Out Their Hymn Books and Start Singing "Nearer My God to Thee"

Coming soon: NRO Cruise 2006.

Book early.


Because They All Look Alike...

Rush Limbaugh's recent defense of poor Janice Rogers Brown against the indignities hurled by the rich, elitist Barbara Boxer falls under the category of "oh please don't":
I was on the first cup of coffee and we were talking about this incredible sight yesterday of Barbara Boxer lecturing Judge Janice Rogers Brown. Here's this white, wealthy, elitist liberal from San Francisco -- I think she's actually from Marin -- lecturing a black daughter of sharecroppers who has risen on her own to become a member of the California Supreme Court, Janice Rogers Brown.
Right. Because Rush, who makes a reported salary of $30 million per year, is in a far better place to feel the pain of the downtrodden than the effete hypocritical Boxer, whose Senator's salary is $158,000. But wait...per Wonkette:
Just for the record... Boxer grew up in a "lower-middle-class" neighborhood in that part of Marin also known as Brooklyn, New York. And at some point in Rogers Brown's youth -- details are sketchy -- her dad joined the Air Force. Then, in 1977, Rogers Brown graduated from law school and became a deputy counsel for the California State Legislature. So presumably she's been living a middle-class life or better for at least, oh, thirty years or so. Still, you've gotta hand it to Rush. A vision of America where a 56-year-old woman who's held important, high-powered jobs for nearly three decades can grow up to become "a black daughter of sharecroppers"? That's pretty inspiring.
Big Pharma is probably thinking of the former mayor of San Francisco, Diane Feinstein, That Other Senator from the People's Republic of California.

I get it, Rush. When you're jacked on all the OxyContin, Lorcet and hydrocodone your $370 a week housekeeper can score, the 2s start looking like 10s long before last call and Barbara Boxer could easily be mistaken for Diane Feinstein.