Monday, April 05, 2004


I saw the lovely and intelligent Amy Goodman speak tonight at LeMoyne College. It was the fourth annual Rev. Daniel Berrigan SJ/International House Peacemaker Lecture. I'll be writing about it when I get a chance.

I just heard Janane Garafalo talking about "camel toes" on Majority Report. Can't remember the last time THAT happened on a political talk show! LOL.

Bobby Eberle hates Kos more than he loves freedom

Poor Bobby Eberle's got his panties in a wad over bloggers saying what they think at any moment they choose to think it or say it. What's he advocating? Censorship? Think about it. Who is the party of the politically correct, really? If politicians wish to distance themselves from the bloggers, then let them do so. The same goes for advertisers. My hope is that Kos would not let the loss of a few bucks break his honesty. I think the most important thing is being unencumbered to freely speak. Bobby totally misses that point. I can imagine Bobby in Colonial times. Oh, that nasty Ben Franklin said a baaaad thing!

Our soldiers in Iraq are dying for freedom. FREEDOM--someone tell Bobby-I think he's forgotten. Instead, he feigns heart-pain and shock over someone daring to comment (albeit harshly) upon the use of soldiers of fortune in Iraq. I'll cry tomorrow, Bobby. We are humans out here...and we know what Bobby and his ilk are all about. They want to exact revenge upon an ideological enemy by attacking his income. To hell with truth and freedom. Censor thyself and assimilate or be broken! Once Bobby develops more of a penchant for the love of truth than a lust for political supremacy and market-based revenge, we just might be able to connect.
As the Internet continues to develop, it is the responsibility of those with reach and influence to act appropriately. government can go on doing as they please with nothing but sterile commentary from those who might see the danger in it...even when the situation might call for emotional appeal in order to awaken the masses? I don't think so, Bobby.

Last, I find it interesting that Bobby resurrected Kos' statement, even after Kos decided to censor it himself after apologizing. Bobby's allowing the re-emergence and further dissemination of the original statement he found so utterly painful and inapproriate will ensure further pain for those he says were injured.

Way to go,.


I'm listening To Kos on Air America's radio show "Majority Report". He's being extremely gracious. He will not make an issue over the Kerry delinking because he knews it would play into the right wing's (and the mainstream media's) hands. See Majority Report listener comments here.

Matt Stoller has a fantastic summary of the right wing/Kos/Kerry delinking/blogging situation here at The Blogging of the President.

I applaud Atrios' philosophy on the matter.
The O'Franken Blog Has Arrived!

The web address is:
Assorted stories--TAXES
or...Hey, Norquist, Get your smarmy claws out of our DEMOCRACY!

Media Transparency: The Apparat: George W. Bush's back-door political machine

Patriot News: Specter not radical enough for the Bushites. Grover Norquist longs to see fellow Republican incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter defeated by right wing Toomey. Specter has dared to vote against Bush on several issues.

Star Ledger: At a time when many states are facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, governors are begging from the federal government, borrowing from investors and stealing from their surpluses.

U.S. Newswire: As these states suffer from financial shortages, Grover Norquist names those calling for necessary tax hikes "rats in the Coke bottle".

Newsday: The creation of Grover Norquist's ARP is deceiving and based on the double lie that the Social Security system is in crisis and that ARP wants to save it. ARP hope to start a grass-roots movement to convert the nation's oldest and most successful social insurance system into a stock investment scheme. In Michigan, Republican lawmakers are being politicallywhipsawed. Grover Norquist warns hikes would be "fiscal abdication" by Republicans. Norquist has warned GOP lawmakers seeking to run for other offices that they vote for tax increases at their peril.

SF Gate: Concentration of undue Constitutional power: Norquist is wonderful at organizing, but he needs to get his damned unelected hands off of the people's American democracy. Undue political pressure on our lawmakers is destroying the balance of American democracy within this Republic. Democrats must learn how to counter these unsavory tactics.

Maine News: Grover Norquist strong-arms would-be tax-raisers in Maine while critics try to crash conference

Courier Journal: In Kentucky, Norquist's advocating no new taxes causes a confiscation of dedicated funds by Gov. Ernie Fletcher-- (in order to make good on his irresponsible promise to raise no new revenue). Gov. Fletcher has squandered his opportunity to lead by submitting a budget that turns its back on basic needs and kills momentum at all levels of education.

Topeka Capital-Journal: Where the president's suicidal tax cuts would lead us--The president can no longer claim, as he did in previous budgets, that his tax cuts for millionaires and huge corporations will not cause real pain for ordinary working Americans. The tradeoff between President Bush's tax cuts and the roads, hospitals, schools and critical services ordinary Americans rely on is crystal clear.

The Hill: Tax hawks cooling to Norquist--Influential conservatives from an array of anti-tax groups are publicly criticizing Grover Norquist, considered President Bush’s most prominent liaison to the conservative grassroots, for being too close to the White House. Conservatives also were outraged by the decision of Norquist’s group to give Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) a “Hero of the Taxpayer Award” in the midst of his fierce primary battle with conservative challenger, Rep. Pat Toomey.

Iraq is out of control, civil war looming; Bush favorable poll ratings down

Chaos reigns in Iraq today. Violence has erupted all over the country. So many of our troops have died over the weekend. So many Iraqi protestors have been "liberated" bullets through the head. They were angered over the arrest of a man named Mustafa al-Yacoubi, an acolyte to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. They were angered over the forced shut-down of a newspaper. They tried to take matters into their own hands by taking control of the police stations and government buildings in their neighborhood. It's been rumoured that even some of the Iraqi police abandoned their posts to join the ranks of the volunteer Mehdi Army. Violence, chaos, anarchy.

With the fall of Hussein came a newfound religious freedom. After their 'liberation' In 2003, Shiites were free for the first time in a long time. Mustafa al-Yacoubi the arrested aide at the center of the eruption of mob violence, has claimed al-Sadr is supported by 75% of Iraqi Shiites. That's close to 45 per cent of Iraq’s population. 45 per cent.

The Bush administration should have invited the U.N. world-community to be part of this intervention from the start. We would have had a good chance to win over these Shiites. Listen to where they stood a year ago:
In Sayyid Muqtada’s entourage, they speak only of differences between "traditional" and "active" howzah - or schools of theology - in Najaf. The "active" theologians believe religious leaders should become involved in the day-to-day running of society.

The example of Islamic Iran is foremost in everyone’s mind. "I want an Islamic republic, but with justice," a former prisoner from the Dawa party said. "We have knocked on all the doors and we don’t see any just Islamic republics."

There is no difference between politics and religion, Sayyid Jaffar said, "but men of religion and politicians do not have to be the same ones - that is the main difference between us and Iran".

The Iraqi people, he added, were "closing an evil period" and "know very little about how other countries are ruled".

For 35 years of Baathist rule, most Shiite leaders practiced taqiya to survive. For the moment, rifts are mostly about whether they tried to live peacefully under the regime or actively fought it.

Now, says a Shiite named Tariq, "everyone is practising taqiya against the Americans, because we are under occupation. The Shiite leadership is divided and confused; they’re trying to find their bearings. Shiites in Baghdad have repeatedly told me they will fight the Americans if they don’t leave."
If only we'd done things right. Had we brought in international experts to show these people clearly that this was not a U.S. occupation, but a U.N. action, and had we tried to show them what democracy could do for their Islamic republic in the way of the justice they were seeking, they may have been convinced to be patient, to learn, and take part in a new government. Instead, they may see Iran as their governmental role model. That's a damned shame.

In a CBS poll taken on Sunday, we see that Americans may be grasping the reality of the security disaster in Iraq.

CBS News Poll. March 30-April 1, 2004. N=834 registered voters. MoE ±3.

"Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven't you heard enough about George W. Bush yet to have an opinion?"

March 30-April 1, 2004.........%


Not Favorable......................42