Archive for the 'Outstanding Democrats' Category

Huge win for Occupy Wall Street.

Oct 19, 2011 in Outstanding Democrats

Shifting the media narrative. Have liberals finally figured out that trying to “game the frame” is the main weapon in the Republican arsenal?

With the debt ceiling debates behind the country and thanks partly to the pressure being brought upon politicians and the media by the 99 Percent Movement and the occupations taking place all over the country, it looks as if the press is finally focusing on the jobs crisis and the behavior of Wall Street instead. A ThinkProgress review of the same three networks between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16 finds that the word “debt” only netted 398 mentions, while “occupy” grabbed 1,278, Wall Street netted 2,378, and jobs got 2,738…

I’m glad people are done sitting on their laurels. After almost three years of pure rabid madness from the right against Obama and against any remotely liberal policies, after seeing Wall Street get handed more free cash than the rest of the country combined (remember, the Stimulus Act was 1/3 tax cuts), people have had enough. The “job creators” at Wall Street invented a bunch of money that didn’t exist, so Uncle Sam had to give it to them. And yet, in the ransacked economy that we’re left with there are half a dozen people for every open job. People have been livid, but the Tea Party came in only to go after NPR, Planned Parenthood, Medicare, unemployment benefits, and a host of their usual targets. After years of being brutalized and pummeled by the Wall Street implosion of 2008, we were implored to release their last few shackles. It didn’t make sense, and thus, finally, somebody has stood up and made sense where sense exists. Our hearts are with you folks.

-hw

Elizabeth Warren nomination can just about make up for Geithner and Summers.

Sep 15, 2010 in Barack Obama, Outstanding Democrats

It wasn’t necessary to have to wait this long to get a real voice for the people into a high-ranking position, but I do love that rope-a-dope game Obama plays. I suspected he would get strategic in September and October, and this seems to be yet another indication that he’s getting it. Progressives, you have Elizabeth Warren to set your hearts afire for November.

Along with the recent aid bill for small businesses…astoundingly voted against by 37 of 41 Republican Senators (or not so astoundingly, if you remember that all they care about is trying to stop Obama from getting popular victories), and the previous jobs bill saving teachers, firefighters and cops, Obama is on a roll. If he plans on keeping this up through October, then I’m frankly frickin’ ecstatic with anticipation.

-hw

p.s. And how disgraceful an end to Chris Dodd’s Senate career that he exits having tried to oppose Warren at every step.

This is how you do it, cont.

Aug 10, 2010 in Economy, Outstanding Democrats

The House passed a bill Tuesday afternoon providing $26.1 billion to cash-strapped state governments, and preventing roughly 161,000 teachers and 158,000 public works employees from being laid off. The vote was 247-161.

And from the loyal opposition:

Republicans derided the measure as a transparent handout to teachers’ unions, a key Democratic political constituency, and argued that it will be no more successful at restoring the nation’s economic health than was the massive stimulus package President Obama signed soon after taking office last January.

“This is a bailout. This is another bailout. . . . Let’s not do this!” yelled Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.). “We’re facing almost a $1.5 trillion budget deficit. America, please, please, wake up. And remember in November.”

In a midafternoon vote, the House approved the measure 247 to 161, with most Republicans voting no. The Senate had already signed off on the package.

Keeping teachers in classrooms, health care workers in clinics, and other folks serving the public interest employed couldn’t have merit on its own, could it?

With the start of school just a few weeks away, most school systems were not counting on increased federal aid this summer as they set their staffing plans in motion. Across the country, class sizes have been on the rise, school bus routes have been cut and a plethora of programs, including summer school, arts and physical education and health and counseling services, have been cut back. Some school systems even trimmed the length of the school year to make ends meet.

Nobody could genuinely believe this bill would be one of the best uses of federal funds in the past two years. Right?

Congrats to the Democrats for a real win. Now appoint Elizabeth Warren and let’s have some fun campaigning in September and October…

-hw

How RUDE of Maddow to point out Aaron Schock’s blatant hypocrisy!

Feb 14, 2010 in Beltway-itis, Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism, Librulz, Media, Outstanding Democrats

This is the type of behavior that gets you called “rude” and “shrill” by Republicans. Maddow pointed out that Schock was taking credit for stimulus dollars locally that he publicly derided in DC.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The chances that David Gregory would have called out Rep. Schock on this type of hypocrisy is precisely zero. As he’s stated before, it’s not a journalists job to raise scrutiny over the claims of politicians. That’s why it’s always enjoyable to see an actual liberal on a Sunday morning talk show who isn’t deathly afraid of being thought of as unreasonable by David Broder.

A new kind of politics.

Jun 11, 2008 in Barack Obama, Election crap, Old Man McCain, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

I’m totally digging Balloon Juice nowadays. John lays the fuckin’ facts out on the table:

Forcefully and confidently defining yourself and what you believe in, while defining your opponent and his ideas is not “dirty politics,” it is politics. Obama did not launch into numerous attacks on John McCain the person, he didn’t raise questions as to whether McCain is in league with the terrorists, he attacked McCain on the issues, over his ideas and his policies. Again, that is not dirty politics, although it is a “new kind” of politics for a party that too often has let the opponent frame the debate with the esoteric hope that “the people are smarter than that” and “will see through the Republican attacks.” Rather than worrying about the Obama campaign, Democrats should be cheering what happened yesterday. It was the first time I remember a Democrat forcefully engaging Republican ideas, explaining why they are wrong, and providing an alternate vision.

Exactly. Exactly. EXACTLY. “A new kind of politics” doesn’t mean Barack Obama has to nod his head and agree with everything John McCain says, triangulate, or timidly demur. It means sticking to the arguments, premises, conclusion and all. It means being unafraid to point the finger, say, “You’re wrong, and here’s why.” Barack Obama pays John McCain the personal respect that he’s due, if not more. And then he goes toe to toe and argues without blinking why McCain isn’t right for the country. John McCain is happy to mutter shit about Hamas loving Obama, or blather about Obama not signing up for the Armed Forces (when there was no war!), or keep calling him inexperienced. All that gets shredded to shit when Obama repeatedly makes the case that McCain has no case. Substance and style vs. no substance and tired, worn out style.

Go watch some UFC, folks. Everybody talks their shit outside of the ring, talks about how fuckin’ badass they are, how they’re going to deconstruct the other guy and become his worst nightmare, etc. etc. But none of that matters once the ref says, “Fight!” And nobody roots for the guy who spent three rounds getting his face pounded to a bloody pulp to win the decision.

I welcome John McCain to try fighting back on the issues, point for counterpoint. I welcome people sitting down, ignoring all the flash, and keeping score. Because I’ve always seen that when liberal/progressive/libertarian types go up against somebody trying to please the rightwinger crowd and don’t back down, the opponent crumbles and runs. McCain can’t stand up in a fight because he’s stuck to Bush, and if he tries dumping Bush his corner will throw in the towel. His argument is fundamentally handicapped, and Barack Obama should use every day from here til November taking McCain on directly, diligently, and fearlessly. McCain will start to whine, the wingers will start to whine, the media will echo the rightwing talking points (“Is Obama unfairly attacking John McCain?”), and some new personal smears will be attempted before the election, but if Obama persists, the crowd will see who is winning, and the media, smelling McCain’s weakness, will go into a blood-frenzy.

This is the simple message I’ve wanted Democrats to get for a long time. When you fight, you win. When you react out of fear, back off and triangulate, you lose. If you think wingers don’t seize on the moment and go for the kill the second they smell blood, you haven’t been paying attention for fifteen years.

-jb

More bad news for McBush.

Jun 06, 2008 in Election crap, Old Man McCain, Outstanding Democrats

It’s going to be great watching the opposition get buried this coming November. Numbers like this must make the RNC weep:

A review of campaign finance data offers not one ounce of good news and barely any hope for the McCain campaign’s ability to compete with Obama’s fund raising prowess.

To make matters worse, Obama’s campaign, which raised $272 million through April for the primary, now is reaching out to Clinton’s fund raisers, who raised another $200 million through April, in an effort to unite forces and bury the historically deep-pocketed Republicans.

Take a look at some of the numbers:

• If each of Obama’s donors gave him a modest $250, he’d have $375 million to spend during the two-month general election sprint. That’s $186 million a month, $47 million a week.

• During the same September to Nov. 4 period, McCain will have about $85 million to spend since he has decided to take taxpayer money to help finance his campaign activities.

• The Republican National Committee, which is charged with closing the gap between McCain and Obama, has $40 million in cash. Obama raised almost as much — $31 million — from just his small donors in the month of February. His total for the month, $57 million, exceeded the RNC’s cash balance.

Old Man McCain: no momentum, no message and more critically, no money.

The 50-state strategy.

Jun 05, 2008 in Barack Obama, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

How foolish that there was ever another one. Howard Dean and Markos Moulitsas built the idea and started implementing it in Congressional races, and now Barack Obama teams up with Dean to take it to the presidential level.

Obama will likely start the general election with 180 or so “reliably Democratic” electoral votes. With the goal of getting to 270, the DNC believes it could play a role in carrying the rest of the burden. The party already has more than 200 field staffers on the ground, and grassroots training programs in all fifty states. In addition, new Internet and communications operations have been started with the goal of facilitating participation in, and donations to, Democratic causes.

These might seem like ad-hoc measures. But if Sen. John Kerry had received ten additional votes per precinct in 2004, he would have won Iowa, Ohio, New Mexico, and, subsequently, the White House.

Obama’s campaign is poised to make this work. There is near universal agreement that he ran a smart, efficient, disciplined campaign against Hillary Clinton.

“The thing about the Obama campaign that was interesting is that when they came into Colorado they set up about ten offices in the state,” said Pat Waak, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. “It was great. It reinforced the same effort that we had been working on for the past three years or so. It means that with all the training that we’ve done over the past three years and with our own efforts we are enabled for success in the fall campaign.”

Added Democratic pollster Celinda Lake: “I think the 50 state strategy put in play a lot of western states that are extremely good for Obama, because they are change oriented and increasingly Democratic. Though no one noticed it, the west is purple.”

The point of the 50 state strategy, besides communicating to all Americans their importance, isn’t necessarily to win every time, but to put up a fight every time.

Obama’s task, however, is not just to flip states into his column, but rather to make enough areas competitive so that McCain and the Republican Party are forced to drain their resources. In this regard, Dean’s vision may prove more successful.

Take Idaho. In 2006, the Democratic Party was able to field an aggressive challenger in what had been, since 1994, a safe GOP district. With help from on-the-ground staffers and the influx of small but strategic resources, Larry Grant forced his Republican opponent, Bill Sali, to turn to Washington for money and two separate appearances by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Grant ultimately lost, but ripple effects were felt on other races. Among the Obama folks, the lessons from that 2006 race apparently still resonate. According to the state’s Democratic Party chair, the Illinois Democrat has pledged to open an office in Idaho for the fall — an unheard of development in recent presidential elections.

Give up on Idaho, and Idaho will give up on you.

-jb

Real change.

Jun 05, 2008 in Barack Obama, Outstanding Democrats

The Democratic Party will no longer accept Washington lobbyist donations:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and the Obama for America Campaign today announced that the DNC will no longer accept Washington lobbyist donations, making the same commitment as Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

“The DNC and the Obama Campaign are unified and working together to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Our presumptive nominee has pledged not to take donations from Washington lobbyists and from today going forward the DNC makes that pledge as well,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. “Senator Obama has promised to change the way things are done in Washington and this step is a sure sign of his commitment. The American people’s priorities will set the agenda in an Obama Administration, not the special interests.”

-mg

Harry Reid says to Republicans: “Bring it on.”

Jul 18, 2007 in Iraq, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

Now this is how to do it, Democrats. The Republicans wanted to establish a new system where all bills now require 60 votes to pass, the MSM immediately assimilated the information as established fact. This pattern of the GOP gaming the system however the fuck it wants and the MSM nodding amiably is long established now. The only question was, were Democrats going to assume their usual role, bent over with ankles clasped?

The article is hardly sympathetic to the Democrats.

WASHINGTON — Democrats steered the Senate into an attention-grabbing, all-night session to dramatize opposition to the Iraq war but conceded they were unlikely to gain the votes needed to advance troop withdrawal legislation blocked by Republicans.

“Our enemies aren’t threatened by talk-a-thons, and our troops deserve better than publicity stunts,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader.

McConnell and many other Republicans favor waiting until September before considering any changes to the Bush administration’s current policy. They have vowed to block a final vote on the Democrats’ attempt to require a troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days.

This, of course, is their version of the Friedman Unit, just as the surge was. In September there will be new excuses, possibly another “surge,” “peace increase,” or “ten thousand man mega-slam,” whatever the fuck new buzzword the White House can borrow from their Frank Luntz computer simulation program. Regardless, the Republicans will not want to change course in September. What’s going to be different two months from now?

Of course, while Republicans have been ruling by filibuster on just about any bill they feel like, this is all “six of one, half dozen of another,” by brainless Beltway standards:

But the political roles were reversed. Four years ago, Republicans demanded votes on Bush’s judicial nominees, and Democrats filibustered to avoid certain confirmation of several conservative appointees.

Then, Reid labeled the Republican-led all night-session a “circus,” while other Democrats stoutly defended their right to set a 60-vote threshold for confirmation.

And then, McConnell talked critically of “unprecedented filibusters of President Bush’s nominees” by Democrats, while other Republicans said they simply wanted an “up or down vote” on judicial appointments.

Of course, Republicans were also threatening to put an end to the filibuster. And in the end, they got what they wanted, and all of Washington was in awe of their a’mighty power.

The public is squarely on the Democrats’ side here, and their constituency has one primary expection: Goddammit, fight for us. If the Republicans want to wrap the chains of Iraq around their neck a few more times, let them make a grand show of it nobody will forget. But if Democrats cave in again, that’s what the public will remember.

-jb

Quote of the day.

May 26, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

“For the most part Republicans are stuck in Internet circa 2000,” 

-former congressional aid David All refering to the Republican web presence.

And boy is he right in so many ways!  Chris Bowers exhaustively explains why. 

-mg

I just got slimed.

Mar 27, 2007 in Outstanding Democrats, Politics

Apologies, for I am encased in a semi-permeable quickly encrusting fine layer of slime. I just watched Katie Couric interview John and Elizabeth Edwards.

I remember the days when people liked Katie Couric and thought she was a perky breath of fresh air on the airwaves. How about you?

I’ll refrain from saying what I really thought of her and focus instead on the unbelievable integrity and grace of the Edwardses. I still endorse Obama but I was reminded of what makes John Edwards an incredible person, the kind of guy rightwingers keep pretending to be. This is a guy who is damn near unimpeachable (except for his bad decision to leave the Senate in 2004). His one “sin” being the vote for the Iraq War. He said he was sorry, and you can see in that interview he’s the kind of guy who means it. He made the mistake of treating George Bush with some kind of credibility, and has repented. Yet observe the depths that some will go to attack him. He’s a “girl,” or a “faggot,” or he’s a “trial lawyer” who, they forget to mention, defended a girl who had her intestines sucked out by a pool drain. That’s how he made his money, helping individuals take on corporations who screwed them over.

You know that name we have for them: citizens.

John and Elizabeth Edwards are principled citizens, and certainly have the respect and admiration of cancer survivors everywhere. Just not Katie “Glass House” Couric or Rush Limbaugh so much.

That choice, at least, was certainly easy.

-jb

UPDATE: A commenter at Sirotablog makes a good observation:

Her line of questioning was deplorable and made no rational sense…Would Ms. Couric ask Mr. Bush if his mental capacity and related proven poor judgment might be related to his years of drug and alcohol abuse….”as some people say?”

Gore: Still the man.

Mar 22, 2007 in Global warming, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

This clip from TPM Cafe (they really do drink sissyboy lattes there! Here at Iowa Liberal, if we drink coffee, it’s black, cold, and has at least one cigarette butt in it.) is great. Fringe shills and outliers aren’t going to slow Al Gore down.

People read the “shocking revelations” of his lifestyle and discovered he does more to offset his energy use than they do. And the right’s documentary sequel to “What the #@*$(& Do We Know?” has underwhelmed. The green revolution is still early but inevitable. Who will be on the right side of history? Al Gore.

-jb

Scintillating damnation.

Mar 16, 2007 in Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, National Security, Outstanding Democrats, Politics, War on Terra

Zbigniew Brzezinski lacerates the hell out of the neocons and sizes up the bleeding wound to the country’s heart that this administration has been.

Frankly, the scope with which Bush is turning America into scorched ground has become too great and horrific to describe.

The investigation and movement for Alberto Gonzalez to resign is our nation’s chance to look at the Bush machine.  The fact is that the prosecutor purge is just plain common ordinary mundane trivial business as usual for the Bush administration.  That’s how they roll.  That’s who they are.  It’s their modus operandi.  For six years the Republican Congress gave Bush a blank check as long as he could cast every move he made as “Strong on terror (nevermind the facts).”

The administration of George W. Bush has had the misfortune of being both misguided and completely unethical in the pursuance of their madness.  His successors want to keep the course steady.  It’s time to reject those who looked to Bush as a source of vision and wisdom for the past six years, those who enabled him every step of the way.  Their judgment has proven to be in consistent errancy.

2008 marks a fork in the road for the direction of America.  Even those of us who liked the idea of taking down Saddam have realized that it is time for America to show the world a different face, one that represents us far, far better than the thundering failure that is the Bush administration and their disciples.

-jb

Obama, the Inevitable.

Mar 07, 2007 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Outstanding Democrats, Politics, Uncategorized

I’m quite unequivocal about who I support for the Democratic presidential candidate, which makes this absurdly long process seem even worse. Who do I support? Who the hell you think? Barack Obama is poised to rescue this nation, flat and simple. To vote in a president who knew from the outset that Iraq was a really, really terrible idea will send a message to terrorists: We got rid of the idiot; now prepare for a real president who will take the job seriously instead of talking about how seriously he takes it. No more stumbling into your traps and quagmires.

Obama is the candidate who Americans in general can feel excited about, and the possibilities he evokes. I could go into cynical disclaimers, but if eight years of GWB doesn’t get you excited about Obama, surely you can understand that a majority of voters could very reasonably feel said excitement.

Best of all, Obama is forcing America into a huge dialogue about having a black president, and seeing the ugliness that is still out there proves that what Democrats have been saying about Republicans and race for a long time are still very much the case. Be on the lookout for Glenn Beck’s hourlong special on “What Exactly Does Obama Put In His Hair, Anyway?”

-jb

Last in line: the facts.

Sep 26, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Outstanding Democrats, Politics, Uncategorized

So how does one watch the Bill Clinton interview with Chris Wallace and not view it as a man stepping on a worm?

(or, if one reads the village idiot Brian Pickrell’s Iowa Voice, how can one spell out a verdict before watching it?)

A former president, somebody who only had modest indications that bin Laden was a serious threat to America, yet took him seriously, versus a Republican shill, somebody who is a disgrace to his legendary journalist father, who claims to be asking in honest faith, after George Bush has gone five years without catching Osama bin Laden, a completely loaded question, masking it behind “we got emails” while being clearly ready and willing to defend the implications.

“Mr. President, why didn’t you do more to get bin Laden?”
There is the scenario. Clinton fires back with a barrage of facts an lucid explanations of events as they were. The worm can only squirm and repeat himself like a third grader/GOP activist. Clinton then turns the tables and points out the obvious realities of FOX news. The worm denies and professes honor, but it goes no deeper because he has none.

Nowhere is a single thing Clinton said rebutted. Clinton says bin Laden wasn’t a factor in Somalia, the worm says “But wasn’t he in ’96, ’98, ’00?” as if his idea possessed logical flow from the previous statement. It has none. The worm is trying to step on the man, and failing that merely tries to stain his shoe.

And that’s what it boils down to in the big picture. Rightwingers only need one catchphrase to get by, because they’re willing and somehow able to repeat it endlessly. Clinton dropped the hard facts on Wallace’s head, Wallace had no retort or substance to offer. The rightwingers will have no substance to offer. The facts are plain. Bush has had five years to get bin Laden since September 11, 2001. Never mind the crucial months before when he was blowing bin Laden off. After 9/11, Bush had the entire nation behind him to pursue bin Laden singlemindedly.

He did not do that. We do not have bin Laden.

Yet…Bush’s dogs feel justified in pointing the finger at Clinton. The president who was pursuing bin Laden when nobody cared. Who only had a few minor attacks to justify it.
Clinton revealed what happens when a liar gets pinned down by the truth. Wallace was obliterated, having no option but to lie through his teeth. “I’m just asking a legitimate question!” Clinton demonstrated plainly that Wallace was doing no such thing. Wallace was a worm.

So what’s the catchphrase?

LOOK AT CLINTON HE’S ANGRY! HE’S A CRAZED BLOODSUCKING MONSTER! POOR CHRIS WALLACE! CRAZY CLINTON LOST HIS MARBLES!

Never mind Bush’s increasingly unhinged public appearances, berating the librul media for daring to point out inconvenient truths. Hypocrisy and strawberry jelly go on a rightwinger’s toast in the morning.

Clinton was decidedly hinged, in fact, because while he got a bit repetitive, he still managed to coherently debunk and demolish Wallace’s every word and the entire rightwinger cabal of liars and excuse-makers. And what rightwinger can be annoyed by repetition?

No, folks, it’s a simple choice: the teacher or the third graders. You have a man laying down an honest history on one side, and you have monkeys chanting “Made you mad!” on the other.

This country simply must stop being swayed so carelessly.

Bravo, Bill Clinton. I’ve my share of disputes with you, but in many ways you are still the best thing this country saw since Roosevelt. And against vermin like Wallace, you appear all the finer.

-jb

The call goes out to Iowans.

Jul 24, 2006 in Local Politics, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

Can Iowans help Congress turn blue?  Howie Klein wants to know.  Vying for Jim Nussle’s seat is standard issue anti-middle class rubber stamp Republican Michael Whalen vs. progressive populist Bruce Braley.

Braley is a common sense problem solver with Main Street values, not an ideologue and not a Wall Street values kind of guy like his opponent. “I’m not running for Congress so I can take safe, comfortable positions that won’t change things for the better and improve the lives of people in my district and in this country.”

The invigoration of the netroots and liberal talk radio (especially Ed Schultz) has helped bring out in force the ordinary everyday Main Street progressives in the Democrat party, the ones who have always been the core of the party.  People like my folks, an ordinary farmer and nurse who are looked up to in the community, people with character and heart of the real variety rather than false piety.   Candidates like Braley, Jon Tester, Mark Warner, Brian Schweitzer, etc. are the real Democrats come out to talk real sense to the American people.

-jb

Sweet Jesus, Al Gore is brilliant.

Jul 02, 2006 in Outstanding Democrats, Politics

From the man awarded five stars for scientific accuracy by the world’s top climatologists, attacked by those who possess zero stars, the real fruits of intelligence:

Did (Bush’s tactics) seem like a smart move, strategically, at that point?

Well, if you define the word “smart” in an antiseptic and clinical way that excludes any ethical dimension, then, yeah, I guess it was smart. Smart, if you’re willing to say things that you know are not true. But that’s what Karl Rove is known for.

Exactly.  Time and time again, when one addresses the issue of Bush’s basic inability to think or handle complex topics, we’re told that he’s smart because he wins elections.  No, that just means that he’s really good at lying continuously to the people until they vote for him.  He learned those skills being a drunk.

But Bush is insulated — his staff smiles a lot and only gives him the news that he wants to hear. Unfortunately, they still have this delusion that they create their own reality. As George Orwell wrote, we human beings are capable of convincing ourselves of something that’s not true long after the accumulated evidence would convince any reasonable person that it’s wrong. And when leaders persist in that error, sooner or later they have a collision with reality, often on a battlefield. That, in essence, is exactly what happened in Iraq.

Precisely.  People like Bush and the cult of personality surrounding him, people dedicated to being just as obtuse and ignorant of all contradictory fact, do not put 2 and 2 together.  The point is, they want the answer to be 5, so it’s fucking 5 and if you think different you’re sympathizing with the enemy.  Their proof?  All their friends think so too.

Just when you think it can’t get better, Al comes up sevens:

Take the tar sands of western Canada. For every barrel of oil they extract there, they have to use enough natural gas to heat a family’s home for four days. And they have to tear up four tons of landscape, all for one barrel of oil. It is truly nuts. But you know, junkies find veins in their toes. It seems reasonable, to them, because they’ve lost sight of the rest of their lives.

I’m thinking that one day oil will be so valuable that they’ll use cheap labor to replace some of the mechanical energy input.  The resulting oil then goes at top dollar for some rich guy’s cruise down the Pacific Coastal Highway in his antique gas-burning Corvette.

Junkies will find veins in their toes (Gore is too polite to say “dicks”), but the rich will feast while surrounded by famine also.  This is not to be forgotten.

Al falls a little short here, while still insightful:

How do the rest of us play a responsible role in advising the group in the White House that doesn’t want to hear what any of us say in any case?

This is a very daunting question.  After 9/11, Bush and co. decided that it meant they didn’t have to listen to Democrats ever again.  If they wanted to do something and the Democrats wanted to do it differently, the Democrats were on the side of Osama or Saddam.  It was Bush’s way or nothing.

But it’s not quite that simple.  Gore forgets that Bush is a thief as well, perfectly content to steal a Democrat idea, such as the Department of Homeland Security (though he’ll add something that pisses them off so he can attack them again).   Murtha’s troop redeployment ideas haven’t gained any traction in the brain-dead Congress, but they’re resonating with the people.  Every time the idea becomes especially popular, the White House starts sending out signals that it’s planning withdrawals too, albeit certainly as promises meant to be broken.

Still, that is the responsible duty for a Democrat:  keep sticking the right ideas out there, even if it does mean the Republicans will steal,  bastardize, and try to take credit for them.  It’s not as effective as being in charge, but it does allow us to apply pressure to the rudder.

And finally:

I love Iowa!

I’m jealous of my father, who got to sit on a bus with Al during the 2000 campaign and shoot the shit with him extensively.  I’ll have to dig up those pics next month when I come home for vacation.

-jb