The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chris Matthews Defends Kerry Against Sleazy Repug Attacks. We Say, if Anyone Owes the Soldiers an Apology, it's Bush


Ok, so the October surprise was not exactly what Democrats were expecting: Sen. John Kerry splattered all over the airwaves, just days before the midterms, defending himself after landing in hot water over comments about Bush and Iraq which were twisted by the Repugs in a last minute, desperate and pathetic attempt to deflect attention away from their leadership's miserable military failure. A seemingly straightforward comment, in a speech to students at Pasadena City College on Monday, has become a misguided rallying cry for a political party that's sensing major defeat next Tuesday.

So what did Kerry actually say that got the Repugs' panties in a snit? "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Every major Repug, from President Bush to House Speaker Denny Hastert to John McCain, has lambasted Kerry for "trashing the troops." (McCain, that opportunistic little weasel, has already sold his soul ten times over as he plans his 2008 run for the White House. The once highly respected, independent war-hero has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for Bush as he seeks the Christian conservative vote. His spine, and his principles, have said...'check please'). It's obvious to anyone not poisoned by Repuglican rhetoric that Kerry was commenting on Bush, not the troops.

The unmitigated gall of this Repug attack on Kerry is beyond infuriating. How dare these notorious chickenhawks--who used college deferments, family connections and every other tactic known to man in order to escape serving in Vietnam--even suggest that Sen. Kerry, a highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran, had actually intended to malign and disparage our soldiers. Unlike these cowardly, privileged rich kids, Kerry actually served (read: enlisted) our military and bled on the battlefield defending America. What balls the Busheviks have to suddenly claim the mantle of bravery while Swift Boating the stellar record of someone like Kerry and mangling his words.

Speaking to a typical group of Kool-aid-drunken Repugs in Georgia Tuesday, Bush had the audacity to claim that Kerry had insulted the intelligence of Americans troops. "The senator's suggestion that the men and women of our military are somehow uneducated is insulting and it is shameful. The members of the United States military are plenty smart and they are plenty brave, and the senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology." Excuse me while I go puke.

If anyone owes the troops an apology, Mr. President, it is you. You and your administration have used and abused their loyalty and courage to further your maniacal political agenda. And while you're at it, you can apologize to the American people as well. You owe us all an apology for:

1. Lying about WMD in order to justify an invasion of Iraq
2. Failing to provide enough troops to secure the country after toppling Saddam
3. Failing to adequately equip the troops with life-saving body armor
4. Failing to be honest with the troops and the public about the failing war
5. Lying about the circumstances surrounding Pat Tillman's death
6. Lying about the circumstances surrounding Pvt. Jessica Lynch's rescue
7. Having Defense Secretary Rumsfeld lie about knowing where the WMD were
8. Having VP Dick Cheney constantly lie about the "progress" in Iraq
9. Lying that the "mission was accomplished"
10. Lying to America that Democrats want the terrorists to win
11. Lying about never saying "stay the course"
12. For the death of 3000 U.S soldiers
13. For the maiming and wounding of tens of thousands of others

On his Hardball program Tuesday, Chris Matthews chastised several Repuglican spinners, asking incredulously if they truly believed Kerry was trashing the troops instead of Bush. Matthews, in acknowledging the highly orchestrated attack campaign on Kerry, cited the many communications he's received from the GOP.

"You wouldn't believe the number of press releases coming into this studio from the top Republicans, all of them, in a grand bit of choreography," Matthews said. "Not since the June Taylor dancers has there been so much choreography."

Matthews added that, in the context of the entire Kerry speech, it seems clear what the Senator's intention was: "My interpretation became after seeing it a couple times and reading the text of what he's saying...he was out there trashing the president's lack of preparation for going into Iraq. And by the way, I agree with him on that. If this president had more sense of history about the Middle East, we would not be stuck in Iraq." Kudos to Chris.

Even right-wing strategist Matthew Dowd agreed: "I think John Kerry supports the troops...he was a member of the military. I think that John Kerry's intention always has been, in his own way, to support the troops."

"Insulting and shameful," you say Mr. President? Exactly, but it's your behavior, and that of your reckless, irresponsible White House mob of Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Rove, that has insulted and shamed every single American. When are you going to apologize for what you've done to our soldiers and to this country?

Message to the Busheviks: Kerry's not running for anything, you are. If you think the American people next Tuesday are gonna focus on his bad jokes versus how you've destroyed our country, guess again.

NY Post Endorses Hillary Clinton for 12 More Years. Just What the Heck is Rupert Murdoch Up To?


On any given day, the New York Post can be viewed as a vehicle for the Republican Party to spread its pro-Bush, anti-Democrat rhetoric. So it's kind of a surprise to read in its editorial pages Monday that it endorses Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) bid for re-election. Not for another term, mind you, but for two more terms...until 2018. Has the Post turned a corner here in a desire to be more fair and balanced, just like its sibling at Fox News (that's sarcasm, folks)? Or is this part of some master plan by Murdoch, the likes of which we've yet to figure out?

The editorial, titled "Clinton: 12 More Years," expresses surprise itself that the staunchly conservative paper would be going out on a limb for Hillary, whom it cites as having more of a "centrist" record than not--particularly on national security issues. It said that her Republican challenger, John Spencer, "isn't a credible alternative", and that "Mrs. Clinton, well, she's been a pretty good senator--popular with her colleagues and as productive as a first-term legislator from the minority party probably can be."

But wait...the love doesn't stop there. "We think she's done such a good job these last six years that she'd do well to serve six more. If not 12," said the Post. "Re-elect Hillary. In 2012." Ok, just what the heck is going on here!?

The paper also raises the specter of a Clinton run for the White House in 2008: "Well, New Yorkers simply expect their major officeholders to be presidential aspirants--and the pols always rise to the bait."

As I've said all along, the Repugs would absolutely love to see Clinton run for president. The Swift Boats are fully gassed, stocked with Kool-aid, engines running and ready to launch. Is the Post's endorsement and unabashed lovefest part of Murdoch's grand plan to help make Hillary the nominee? You have to admit, something smells awfully fishy here....

Monday, October 30, 2006

Al Gore's a Huge Hit in Belgium


Al Gore's pro-environment message is resonating like wildfire in Belgium. The Goracle spent a day in Brussels in early October to promote his film "An Inconvenient Truth." He told the enraptured audience, "Our planet has a fever, and the fever has been getting steadily higher. " Since then, the country has been tripping over itself trying to enact legislation inspired by Gore's passion for the environment and concerns over global warming.

"We must take Al Gore's message seriously," said Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt when proposing a new "environmentally friendly" tax on packages that would penalize users of aluminum or plastic, which release harmful CO2 into the atmosphere. The tax would provide incentives to switch to less harmful paper or cardboard. The measure is quickly becoming known as the "Gore tax," and could become part of the 2007 budget. The government has also proposed tax breaks for car pollution filters and deductions for energy-efficient investors.

Countdown to Election Day: Here's How the Senate is Shaping Up For Democrats


With just a week to go before the critical midterm elections, the smart money is on the Democrats handily winning the House of Representatives. But it's not unlikely that the Dems could wrest control of the Senate as well. Here's how the recent polls are stacking up in the key battleground Senate races:

-New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) leads Tom Kean Jr. by 6 points
-Pennsylvania: Bob Casey Jr. (D) leads Sen. Rick Santorum (R) by 14 points
-Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse (D) leads Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) by 9 points
-Maryland: Rep. Ben Cardin (D) leads Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) by 11 points
-Ohio: Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) leads Sen. Mike DeWine by 8 points
-Virginia: Jim Webb (D) leads Sen. George "Macacawitz" Allen (R) by 4 points
-Montana: Jon Tester (D) leads Sen. Conrad Burns by 3 points
-Tennessee: Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D) leads Bob Corker (R) by 5 points
-Missouri: Claire McCaskill (D) and Sen. Jim Talent (R) tied at 49% in one poll and McCaskill ahead by 3 points in another

These candidates need money. Money to fight off the onslaught of vicious Repuglican attack ads during this final week. Once again, here's where you can contribute (McCaskill, Ford, Webb and Menendez are the key races right now):

-New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez
http://www.menendez2006.com/

-Tennessee: Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.
http://www.fordfortennessee.com/

-Virginia: Jim Webb
http://webb.bluestatedigital.com/page/s/join

-Missouri: Claire McCaskill
http://www.claireonline.com/

-Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse
http://www.whitehouseforsenate.com/

-Montana: Jon Tester
http://www.testerforsenate.com/

-Pennsylvania: Bob Casey Jr.
http://www.bobcasey.com/?splash=1

-Ohio: Rep. Sherrod Brown
http://www.sherrodbrown.com/

-Maryland: Rep. Ben Cardin
http://www.bencardin.com/

The Democrats need six seats to gain a majority and take control of the Senate. As everyone knows, a week in politics is a lifetime. Almost anything and everything could go down these next seven days. But the odds are, with the Iraq war spiraling out of control and the economy delivering more bad news each day, momentum is likely to tip further to Democrats as Americans head to the polls next Tuesday. But what's most critical is if the Dems win the voter-turnout battle. If so, the Repuglicans' reigh of terror will soon be coming to an end. Keep 'em crossed...

Maryland Repug's Bizarre Stem Cell Proposal


The battle for Maryland's Senate seat is intensifying, and stem-cell research has become one of the primary issues for voters in that state. On Sunday's Meet the Press, the controversial subject was discussed in a debate between Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) and Democratic challenger Rep. Ben Cardin (D). On several occasions, host Tim Russert pinned the Repug candidate's back to the wall and left him stammering for a cogent reply.

Russert asked Steele to substantiate the claim in his new ad--which features his sister, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis--that Cardin's Michael J. Fox ad is "tasteless and deceptive." Steele said he in fact supports stem cell research, which Fox claims he doesn't. Both candidates claim to support stem-cell research, but while Cardin supports both adult and embryonic stem-cell research, Steele advocates research on adult-only cells.

Russert then said to Steele: I went up on the Web site for the National Institute of Health frequently asked questions. And let me share those with you and our viewers. "Question: Why not use adult stem cells instead of using human embryonic stem cells in research? National Institute of Health: Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells." That's the issue. And...

Steele: That's the, that's the issue.

Russert: ...you're opposed to using something that has more promise than adult stem cells.

Russert continued: Why are you opposed to using embryonic stem cells? Taking of a life?

Steele: It's taking, yes, I see that as a life, and I, and I don't think that we should use federal funds to do that. And that's, and that's the difference to me.

Now here's where it gets interesting...and, quite frankly, bizarre.

Russert: Here...here's, here's a question that I have to pose: There are fertility clinics all across the country, several in Maryland--Shady Grove, Baltimore...

Steele: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Russert: ...where they take embryonic stem cells and discard them because they're not used in pregnancies--embryos. What--will you close down those fertility clinics?

Steele: I won't close down the fertility clinics. We have options there. We could, we could set up adoptions for those, for those embryos. There are so many other options that we can pursue that we don't. And, and the key thing to keep in here-- keep in mind here, and for me, and I think for--hopefully for Ben, too, and I-- because he's a good man on this, on this subject: Science moves us in a certain direction, and it pushes the envelope, as it should. But as a society, we also must, must consider the, the, the religious, the moral, and the ethical values of that society, and that needs to be a part of this as well. So we cannot just because it's in a bill, we cannot just because a scientist or a group of scientists say,--Yeah, let's do this,--that we don't step back and, and assess for ourselves is this the moral, ethical and, and, and appropriate thing to do?

Russert: But I'm trying to, I'm trying to understand the logic. If, in fact, these embryos are being discarded by fertility clinics, and you think that's the taking of a life, how can you tolerate or allow it?

Steele: But my point is that we need to look at exactly how, how we store them, we have 400,000, I think, across the country. I, I would pursue options that would allow us to look at adoption of some of those embryos and, and to the extent that they...they'e no longer viable, that they have expired or whatever, then you have to look at what you do there. My only point is, let's step back and evaluate what our options are before we go headlong into a sear--into a science or a research that is not fully developed.

Russert: Would you forbid fertility clinics from destroying embryos?

Steele: Would I forbid them from destroying embryos? Probably would like to look at that a little bit more closely. I don't, I don't know exactly how that mechanism is set up right now with respect to each, each clinic

The reason Russert can't understand the logic is because there is no logic. The lunacy of Steele's positions on stem-cell research knows no bounds. He equates embryonic stem-cell research with the taking of life, but then refuses to emphatically agree that fertility clinics, which discard unused cells which in turn could be used in this research, should be shut down. He'd rather see these valuable cells destroyed than used for scientific/medical research. But the thing that made my head spin was his proposal to possibly put these cells up for adoption. On the eve of Halloween, I must say, nothing could be more twisted and macabre than that.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hypocrite-in-Chief Bush Defends the Institution of Marriage a Week After Stumping for Philandering PA Congressman


The Bushevik BooGAYman has reared its ugly head once again. Weeks ago following the Mark Foley scandal, I held out hope that Republicans would find a new-found acceptance and tolerance of gays now that they saw just how much homosexuality existed within their own party. We here at The Ostroy Report do play rough, but we also sometimes play naive. So go ahead, say I told ya so. But I'm not giving up on humanity yet. I guess I still have faith that in my lifetime we'll see an end to racist, prejudicial rhetoric. But not this week. Following the New Jersey Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage, President Bush and the GOP hate-mongers were out in full force gay-bashing as aggressively as ever.

Campaigning Monday in Iowa for House candidate Jeff Lamberti, Bush said, "Yesterday in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage," adding that marriage was "a union between a man and a woman....I believe it's a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families, and it must be defended." Oh really George? How come you didn't feel so strongly about the great institution of marriage last week when you took to the stage in Pennsylvania, embraced Rep. Don Sherwood--who recently admitted to having an extramarital affair, in which his mistress accused him of beating her--and declared: "I'm pleased to be here with Don Sherwood: he is the right man to represent the people of the 10th Congressional District from the state of Pennsylvania." The hypocrisy here is enough to make you sick.

The Repuglican Party owes a great big fat debt of gratitude to the Supreme Court of the state of New Jersey. Just ten days to go to the critical midterm elections, the court's ruling has re-energized the party's gay-bashers and reignited a hot-button issue that helped fuel the Repugs' victories in 2004. The ruling, which said that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples, is breathing new life into several hotly-contested races throughout the country, where the Repugs are hoping to use it as a rallying cry and get-out-the-vote engine.

There are gay marriage amendments on the ballot in states like Tennessee and Virginia, where Repugs like Bob Corker and Sen. George Allen respectively are locked in very tight races. Allen's campaign manager said Thursday "It's an issue that's going to play a big role in the next 12 days." I guess Allen's hopeful that Virginians hate gays more than they do racist Senators. And in Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick "Man-on-dog-sex" Santorum, the biggest gay-basher in Washington, is hoping the NJ ruling will tilt support back his way after consistently trailing Bob Casey Jr. in the polls by double-digits.

It's getting real ugly out there folks. The Repugs' attack ads are getting more personal, more deceptive and more vile. And now the BooGAYman has surfaced again. But will Americans be stupid enough to fall for this infuriating crap once again? Will they forget about Iraq, terrorism, North Korea, Iran, Hurricane Katrina, gas prices, oil prices, stagnant wages, rising interest rates, scandal and corruption and instead be suckered into believing Karl Rove's bullshit that gay marriage should be the biggest problem in their lives? Like I said, I'm still optimistic that Americans will do the right thing on Nov 7th. I hope I'm right.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

With Just Eleven Days to Go, Here's How You Can Help Democrats Win the House and Senate


On November 7th voters will have the chance to change the course of modern American history by changing the power structure that Republicans have had a choke-hold on for 12 years. Many key races are very tight and getting ugly in terms of the GOP's deceptive, untrue, shameful attack ads in the campaign's final week. What we as Democrats can do to help our candidates, and our party, win next month is to send money. That's what these brave folks need most right now in order to effectively combat the onslaught of negative ads being produced by the Repugs (see "The Stakes"; Bob Corker's ads attacking Harold Ford Jr in Tennessee; Rick Santorum's Bob Casey ads; the stem-cell battle in Missouri; etc). In the final days of the 2006 campaign, it's all about money, money, money.

In the Senate, Democrats need six seats to regain control. Here are the tightest races, and the candidates who need your money most (these Democrats either are ahead by just a a few percentage points, or are in dead heats):

-New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez
http://www.menendez2006.com/

-Tennessee: Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.
http://www.fordfortennessee.com/

-Virginia: Jim Webb
http://webb.bluestatedigital.com/page/s/join

-Missouri: Claire McCaskill
http://www.claireonline.com/

-Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse
http://www.whitehouseforsenate.com/

-Montana: Jon Tester
http://www.testerforsenate.com/

The following Democrats hold strong leads, but still need a massive war chest:

-Pennsylvania: Bob Casey Jr.
http://www.bobcasey.com/?splash=1

-Ohio: Rep. Sherrod Brown
http://www.sherrodbrown.com/

In the House, where Democrats need 15 seats to take control, there are dozens of candidates locked in tight races that desperately need contributions. These include:

-New York: Kirsten Gillibrand
http://www.gillibrand2006.com/About

-New York: John Hall
http://www.johnhallforcongress.com/

-Michigan: Nancy Skinner
http://www.SkinnerforCongress.com

-Pennsylvania: Joe Sestak
http://www.sestakforcongress.com/

-Illinois: John Laesch (challenging House Speaker Denny Hastert)
http://www.john06.com/

-Illinois: Tammy Duckworth (seeking seat of retiring Republican Henry Hyde)
http://www.duckworthforcongress.com/

There are many other worthy House candidates and close races as well. You can find them on the 'net in minutes.

You can also send money to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and organizations such as MoveOn.org. Your money will spent on worthy candidates in the most needed races:

http://www.dscc.org/index_home.html

http://www.dscc.org/index_home.html

http://www.moveon.org/

Please send whatever you can. The Repugs are very good at pulling out all stops in the final days of the election. We must combat this aggressiveness with that of our own. We have a real shot here at winning both the House and Senate. Let's together make it a reality.

Another Stolen Election Headed Our Way? We Talked with Mark Crispin Miller About What Voters Can Do to Prevent It


Mark Crispin Miller is a very serious guy. We met recently over coffee at a quaint little cafe near New York University, where he teaches communications and media. Mark's been sounding the alarm on election fraud for years, convinced that both Al Gore and John Kerry were robbed of the presidency in 2000 and 2004. And he's afraid, very afraid, that the problem these days is worse, not better. Listening to him talk, watching his gestures, hearing his doomsday scenarios, it's easy to get caught up in it. And it makes you angry to think he's right. We vowed to riot in the streets should Democrats lose again in November. What I love about Mark is that you get the feeling he'd actually do it.

While I firmly believe that part of the Repugs' strategy to win elections is to steal them, I don't profess to be an expert on voting fraud. There's plenty of very dedicated folks like Mark, Brad Friedman and Bobby Kennedy Jr. who've thankfully been carrying that torch, making the rest of us painfully aware that the problem exists and that if, unchecked, it can and will happen again. If you don't believe that, all you need to do is monitor the blatantly corrupt actions of people like Kenneth Blackwell--Ohio's Secretary of State, gubernatorial candidate and loyal Bushevik--to get a greater sense of the threat facing Democrats at the polls.

So what I asked Mark was not to simply rehash the infuriating tales of fraud from the Gore/Bush and Bush/Kerry elections, but to clearly define for us what Americans can do to prevent a repeat in 2006 and 2008.

First and foremost, Americans must vote. And vote in record numbers. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. The ability to vote in this country is not just a right but an obligation. The more Democrats that vote, the less likely that fraud would impact the outcome of an election. 96-million, 105-million and 121-million people voted in the '96, '00 and '04 elections respectively. In '04, overall turnout was a record 61%, but the GOP's highly efficient "72-hour" program delivered more voters than the Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts. But as we now know, we still need even greater turnout.

Miller believes, and has written this month in The American Spectator, that "We need the biggest turnout ever, as a protest on behalf of free and fair elections in America. Such a turnout will make it that much harder for the Bush Republicans to spin their victory."

Next, Miller urges that Americans bombard their congressmen and Senators demanding an end to electronic voting unless a critical paper trail is created. Even better, we should have paper ballots that can be hand counted. That companies like Diebold--headed by shameless Bushevik Wally O'Dell--get to control the machines that receive and tally votes is criminal. As Miller points out, one little programmed tweak can, and did, turn countless Kerry votes into Bush votes. How this situation is allowed to exist in our Democracy is incomprehensible.

Miller also believes the media must commit itself to educating the public to this growing problem. "The key here is mass awareness," he said. "Right now, when nobody has really heard what went down, it's hard to think of what to tell them to do...The real problem here is the media. Their failure to put a spotlight on this is a gross abdication of their Constitutional responsibility." He strongly urges contacting major newspaper editors: "The media should be inundated with letters from people demanding to know why it's not being covered...I mean, why aren't they covering this, it's unbelievable."

Miller is also frustrated that the liberal radio and cable shows aren't doing a better job at creating awareness, and cites just a handful of broadcasters who he says "get it" including MSNBC's Keith Olberman and Air America's Thom Hartmann.

Another suggestion Miller has is to demonstrate at the headquarters of the NY Times, Washington Post and other major news establishments to demand greater focus and coverage be placed on this very serious problem. Where are the young, righteous, idealistic Woodward and Bernsteins of today willing to tackle the greatest threat ever to our Democracy?

As for election day itself, Miller has a couple of suggestions. The first is that the U.S. government should make it a national holiday to make it as easy as possible for people to get to the polls. The less obstacles to voting we put in front of people, the greater the turnout we'll experience.

Additionally, and extremely important, Miller said every voter should go to the polls this November armed with the phone number 1-866-OUR-VOTE from Election Incident Reporting System, which records and analyzes information about voting problems before, during, and after elections. He also mentioned the Election Defense Alliance, "which is setting up a citizen's rapid response mechanism to go to places where there are close races--and where Republicans are cheating--to help people gather evidence." Should you witness fraudulent and/or suspicious activity on election day, get on your cell phone and contact these groups immediately.

Lastly, Miller wants consistency. "I think we need a federal standard of elections, so that there's a certain uniformity of voting methods coast to coast. The patchwork system we have now is a disaster, with different rules and systems from state to state and county to county....The vast crazy-quilt of different voting systems nationwide is very dangerous, as it allows for huge inequities, and has help to over-complicate, and thereby obfuscate, what ought to be a fairly simple process."

But he maintains that overall control should remain on the state level. "It's basically a good thing that the states control their own election systems, as that arrangement helps to keep the federal government at bay. Indeed, Bush is trying to tighten his control of the election system by strengthening the hand, and selecting the members, of the Election Assistance Commission. For BushCo to run the national vote directly would be catastrophic. So the principle of state control is worth preserving. The problem lies not with state control per se, but with the inordinate influence of the parties--and, lately, just one party--over the election process."

So, let's make this simple for voters:

1-Vote, vote, vote...and get everyone you know to vote as well
2-Write your congressmen and senators and demand uniformity and federal standards for the election process. Demand an end to electronic voting machines unless there's a viable paper trail. Demand paper ballots instead. Ask that election day be declared a national holiday
3-Bombard the media with letters and calls that demand coverage of election fraud
4-Organize demonstrations
5-Go armed to the polls next month with 1-866-OUR-VOTE and call it immediately to report any fraudulent and/or suspicious activity

In parting, the most chilling thing Mark told me was his prediction of what the Republicans will do should Democrats win on Nov 7th, which he also expounded in American Spectator: "If the GOP should lose the House or Senate, its troops will mount a noisy propaganda drive accusing their opponents of election fraud. This is no mere speculation, according to a well-placed party operative who lately told talk radio host Thom Hartmann, off the record, that the game will be to shriek indignantly that those dark-hearted Democrats have fixed the race. We will hear endlessly of Democratic "voter fraud" through phantom ballots, rigged machines, intimidation tactics, and all the other tricks whereby the Bush regime has come to power. The regime will, in short, deploy the ultimate Swift Boat maneuver to turn around as many races as they need so as to nullify the will of the electorate."

To quote Alanis Morissette, "Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?".....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dick Morris Tells GOP to "Scare 'em Silly"


There's just 12 days to go to the midterm elections and according to the pundits and polls it appears that Republicans will likely lose the House and quite possibly the Senate as well. As a result, in the campaign's homestretch, the utterly terrified Repugs, afraid of losing power, are playing dirtier than ever (see new RNC "The Stakes" ad; Tennessee Repug Bob Corker's racist ad against Harold Ford Jr; Rush LIMPbaugh's horrifyingly inappropriate comments about Michael J. Fox; etc).

In his syndicated column Monday titled "Best GOP Hope: Scare 'em Silly," rapacious right-wing rhetoric slinger Dick Morris wrote that "Republicans won't save themselves with phony optimism--pathetic claims that, somehow, they're mounting a comeback. They need to sound a note of alarm and fill the airwaves with specifics of exactly what will happen if the Democrats triumph." And to Morris, that means lie and distort the truth about the war on terror. And why not? It's sure as hell worked like a charm in the past.

Morris suggests the following ad: "We see and hear a wiretapped conversation, with a terrorist revealing his worst plans to his associate - and, inadvertently, to government eavesdroppers, too. Then, when he's about to spill the beans on when and where the next attack is going to come, the line should go dead, with a dial tone, with a machine voice saying "This wiretap terminated in the name of privacy rights by the Democratic U.S. Congress." The announcer can then say, "If the Democrats win, the National Security Agency will never be able to listen in as the terrorists are plotting to attack us."

This type of distortion is irresponsible and reprehensible, as it once again exploits the 9/11 tragedy for the Repugs' personal political gain. Furthermore, we must remind the portly little pundit that Democrats don't have any problem wiretappings. If the Dems win, the NSA will most certainly "be able to listen in as the terrorists are plotting to attack America." We'll just do it legally, that's all.

Morris continues with: "Republicans are doomed unless they can get their base back...A message like this could have a snowballing effect on the Republican base. The word could percolate through the clutter, reminding voters of their true priorities...If the Republicans frankly address their deserting base and speak plainly of the need to hold steady in the face of the terrorist threat, the base can come back." And of course, that means lies, lies and more lies. Shame on them all.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What's All the Fuss About Barack Obama?


The already enormous buzz over Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is intensifying now that he essentially announced Sunday on Meet the Press that he's a candidate for president in 2008, setting the stage for what would be a monumentally high-profile showdown between him and Sen. Hillary Clinton. And the powers that be in the Democratic Party seem thrilled with this turn of events, gleefully hopping on the "he's our savior" bandwagon. Am I missing something here? To quote Chuck D from Public Enemy, "Don't believe the Hype...."

Don't get me wrong. I love this guy. He's genuine, sincere, articulate, highly charismatic, telegenic and immensely popular. A rock star. Unfortunately, none of these attributes necessarily qualifies him to be president of the Unites States, the most powerful human being on the planet. He has no significant national political experience, and has never been in an executive level, CEO-type position. To date, he's served just two years in the U.S. Senate; spent eight years in the Illinois State Senate; and was a civil rights lawyer and law professor. Can someone please tell me why he's the best that the Democrats have to offer? Is he truly the most qualified individual to lead the country? He may someday make for a great leader, but it is way too premature to be bestowing such accolades on him.

As a U.S. Senator, the legislation he's sponsored is innocuous at best, including the "Higher Education Opportunity Through Pell Grant Expansion Act" and the "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act." He's been vague on many key issues including Iraq, the war on terror, abortion, gay marriage and immigration, choosing broad ideological positions in order to stay out of the political fray. Hollywood loves him, as do other fellow rock stars like Bono, with whom he's traveled to Africa to raise awareness of genocide, AIDS and various humanitarian issues.

To be quite honest, when it comes to political experience, there's much more qualified candidates. So what exactly is it about Obama that is drawing such attention? Perhaps it's because Obama, 45, is an African-American? Let's be truthful with each other: would there be this much hype about a White politician with such minimal experience? Former Sen. John Edwards certainly compares in terms of overall attributes, but lacks the hype and never even remotely reached the "darling" status that Obama curiously enjoys. In fact, Edwards was pilloried in '04 over his lack of exsperience. I think it's a kind of racism in America to be so fascinated with a Black man who does not fit the ugly stereotypes. Is Obama grabbing the headlines, currying so much favor and amassing so much political currency, because he's a highly educated, highly articulate and charismatic Black man in a White man's game? Is his popularity propped up by racists who would never actually vote for him, but publicly marvel at his "skills"? These are tough questions, but in light of the man's very average political career, it has to be something other than charisma that's causing such an unprecedented lovefest.

Let's be clear about one thing. I'm not saying Obama does not have the right to run in 2008, nor am I saying he shouldn't. In fact, I'd like to see him run and, unless a highly credentialed alternative like Al Gore decides to jump in the race, Obama could likely get my vote. All I'm suggesting is that, given his political experience and accomplishments or lack thereof, the level of hype and overall appeal should rival that of a Bill Richardson, Evan Bayh or Edwards. I believe there's a very subtle form of racism at work here. And don't think Republicans wouldn't love to see Obama run and win the nomination, at which point America's ugly racism won't be so subtle.

Monday, October 23, 2006

As Their Election Apocalypse Approaches, Busheviks' "If We Say it, it Must Be True" Strategy is No Longer Working


Propaganda: The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.

For the past six years the primary Rovian/Mehlman strategy has been to have the Puppet-in-Chief, his cabinet, the GOP leadership and the vast right-wing media conspiracy robotically stay on message and spread the propaganda. Say something often enough, and it eventually becomes the truth. Whether it's the Iraq war, terrorism, the economy or "compassionate conservatism," their mantra has been, "are you gonna believe me or your lyin' eyes?" But this time, with the critical midterm elections just 15 days away and facing a House and Senate meltdown, the strategy's not working. The propaganda parade is over, and the Rove/Mehlman float has been deflated.

For months now, even the staunchest conservatives have bailed ship on the Busheviks. The Republican leadership has deserted the president, and incumbents seeking re-election have avoided him like the plague. But you gotta hand it to him. He's still out there beating the drum, playing the role of "optimist-in-chief", as the New York Times reported Monday.

In a pathetic last-ditch effort to lift spirits, RNC chair Ken Mehlman and the Busheviks conducted a "friends and allies" teleconference last week to counter the gloom and doom that's spread throughout the party. Mehlman and White House political director Sara Taylor held a 20-minute rah-rah session that those in attendance--including pundits, lobbyists, donors and GOP aides and supporters--referred to as "happy talk."

Their goal here in the final days of a sinking campaign is to once again ignore the facts and the reality on the ground. Forget what all the bi-partisan analysts are saying. Forget what the polls indicate. Forget Iraq, Katrina, massive debt, gas prices, stagnant wages, corruption and scandal, and all the other Bushevik catastrophes. Mehlman's edict? Don't discuss the bad news, and keep telling 'em everything's great and that we're gonna win on Nov 7. Keep saying it. Often. And they'll believe you.

But many of the president's most loyal supporters and allies have lost hope. On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, conservative columnist Robert Novak predicted Democrats will pick up 20-25+ seats to take control of the House (they need 15), and said at least four Senate Seats--Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Missouri--"are locks." It should be noted that Sen. Bob Menendez in New Jersey and challenger Jon Tester in Montana hold big leads over Republicans Tom Kean Jr. and Sen. Conrad Burns respectively. The Dems need six wins to take control of the Senate.

Even the Kool-Aid pushin' Mary Matalin confessed, "I'm in my stoic mode now." And when Matalin bails, that's pretty telling. Perhaps hubby James Carville finally knocked some sense into her.

The tension is so thick in the White House that Bush has even resorted to taking on Pappy. In an interview Sunday on ABC News, Junior was asked what he thought about Senior saying that he hated to think what the next two years would be like for his little boy if those big bad Dems regained control of Congress. "He shouldn't be speculating like that, because he should have called me ahead of time, and I'd tell him they're not going to." Wah, wah, wah....

Also over the weekend, in what is now the coup-de-grace in the Busheviks' failed propaganda campaign, Bush told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that "We've never been stay the course, George!" after the host asked him about James Baker's claim that "stay the course" is no longer an option for the U.S. in Iraq.

So there you have it. Since 2003 we've been hearing the president say "stay the course" ad infinitum. And now he's saying he never said it. Well, I guess that must be true then too, huh?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Is There An Inept, Crooked and/or Racist Politician or Bureaucrat that George "Heckuva Job" Bush Won't Defend? Here's Our Top 10


He is arguably the worst president in the history of these great United States, which is why it's no surprise that George W. Bush gravitates to others who are miserable failures as well, lavishing them with praise instead of admonishment.

There seems to be no wrong that anyone Republican can do to reap the wrath of this president. He is clearly most comfortable with, and least threatened by, those he deems even more inept than he. So he stands by them, in some sort of convoluted, dysfunctional fraternal gesture, as if somehow their misdeeds make him appear any less the colossal failure Americans now deem him to be.

It all formally began with "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job," to former FEMA head Michael Brown after the inept bureaucrat clearly spent more time pondering what clothes to wear rather than how to rescue dying people in Katrina's aftermath. Though the list of losers-who-get-Bush's-love can seem endless, here's our Top Ten:

"Harriet, you're doing a heckuva job"...as my crony trying to become the next Supreme Court Justice without a lick of any Constitutional law background and without an ability to articulate a coherent judicial position. (Harriet Miers, White House Counsel)

"Donny, you're doing a heckuva job"...destroying Iraq and overseeing the most pathetic prosecution of a war this country has ever seen. (Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whom he continues to faithfully defend)

"Condi, you're doing a heckuva job"...lying about what we knew and when about al Qaeda and bin Laden's plans to use airplanes to attack America. (Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, whom he promoted from National Security Advisor even though she failed to protect the nation from terrorist attack)

"Tom, you're doing a heckuva job"...rigging elections and using the U.S. House of Representatives as your personal mob hangout. (former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whom Bush consistently defended)

"Jack, you're doing a heckuva job"...as the country's poster boy for Washington corruption. (convicted former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, seen in White House photos with the president, and who had 485 White House contacts)

"Dick, you're doing a heckuva job"...lying to the American public on just about everything that flies out of that sniveling, fork-tongued crooked mouth of yours. (Vice President Dick Cheney, America's Darth Vader)

"Denny, you're doing a heckuva job"...not keeping D.C.'s underage pages safe from middle-aged Republican sexual predators. (House Speaker Dennis Hastert, whom Bush continues to defend against charges of cover-up in the Mark Foley scandal)

"George, you're doing a heckuva job"...making insensitive, insulting, racist remarks. (Sen. George "Macaca" Allen, whom Bush on Thursday called a "good man of strong principles" during a desperate campaign stop in Virginia)

"Don, you're doing a heckuva job"...cheating on your wife with a mistress who claims you beat her. (Rep. Don Sherwood (PA), who recently admitted to having an extramarital affair, and who Bush strongly embraced during a Pennsylvania campaign stop Thursday, enthusiastically telling supporters: "I’m pleased to be here with Don Sherwood: he is the right man to represent the people of the 10th Congressional District from the state of Pennsylvania."

Perhaps in my lifetime we'll someday see President Bush actually demand accountability from the legions of inept, corrupt failures he currently puts on an undeserved pedestal. I won't hold my breath....

Sean Hannity Tells Voters to Stay Home on Election Day


During his "Man on the Street" segment during Thursday's radio program, nationally-syndicated right-wing blowhard Sean Hannity urged several voters--in particular one 21-year-old self-proclaimed Democrat--not to vote in the November 7th midterms. "Your vote doesn't matter anyway," he told them." In the segment, these individuals failed to identify photos of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Denny Hastert (R-IL) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) while correctly identifying Jessica Simpson, Alec Baldwin and Paris Hilton.

Hannity grew increasingly frustrated as person after person showed their ignorance of today's political scene. But it was the young man who felt the spin monkey's wrath most, especially after he admitted that he "loves Alec Baldwin." Hannity made a condescending remark similar to--"Oh, you love Alec Baldwin, I guess we know what you're all about"--and then proceeded to ask the kid if he was planning to vote. Yes, said the kid. Democrat?, asked Hannity. Yes, said the kid. "Why don't you do me a favor and just stay home on election day, ok?," requested Hannity. After hesitating, the kid said he'll grant the favor and not vote. Hannity then said that anybody who doesn't know who Pelosi and Reid is (not Hastert) should also stay home and not vote.

And there you have it, folks. Sean Hannity stooping so low as to implore young, impressionable voters to ignore their civic duty and not vote in the midterm elections. How truly frightened he must be.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

From Rock Star to House Candidate. Our Exclusive Interview with Upstate New York's John Hall


Back in the 70's John Hall was a rock 'n' roller with Orleans, the band he co-founded and with whom he wrote such classic hits as "Dance With Me" and "Still The One". The John Hall of 2006 wants to be the next Congressman from Upstate New York's 19th district, which includes all of Putnam County and portions of Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties. Hall's locked in a heated race with six-term Republican Sue Kelly, and if he has anything to say about it, Kelly's on her way back home to Katonah. Can John Hall win one of the 15 seats Democrats need to take control of the U.S. House of representatives? Absolutely. He's an aggressive campaigner with an overall message that resonates with a majority of Americans today. We recently interviewed Hall to get his thoughts on a number of topical issues:

Ostroy Report: John, you're running against a 6-term Republican, in a district which President Bush won by 9 points in '04. What makes you think you can win?

Hall: First of all, voter registration shows this district to be almost evenly divided between Democrats, Republicans and those with no party affiliation. And from what I'm hearing around the district, voters--of all stripes--want change in Washington. They want leaders who are ready to make bold decisions about our future. Sue Kelly has been a steady, loyal supporter of the ruinous Bush administration policies. Voters are telling me they've had enough.

Ostroy Report: You're on record as saying "I believe that Bill Clinton was impeached for personal misbehavior and lies about it, but that President Bush has committed more serious and deadly actions which are possible abuses of power and may be impeachable offenses." If elected, will you support censure and/or impeachment of President Bush?

Hall: Independent investigations should take place to show proof of wrongdoing before anyone rushes to judgment.

Ostroy Report: Have voters in your district lost their faith and trust in Bush?

Hall: On a whole I believe they have. Interestingly, I'm hearing from scores of rock-rib Republicans who say the President's actions and Sue Kelly's rubberstamping of his policies are causing them to vote for Democrats this time around.

Ostroy Report: Let's talk about what most voters say is the number one issue: the Iraq war. What's your position, particularly with how and when to withdraw our troops? Are you in support of a Kerry/Murtha type timetable?

Hall: The fact that the Bush administration doesn't seem to have a plan other than "staying the course" should trouble all Americans. We should extricate our troops as quickly as possible by transferring control to a true multinational force. We must renounce any claim on permanent military bases and on control of Iraq’s oil. If this administration is not willing to give up decision making power to the Iraq government, the U.N. or a true coalition of other nations during a transition, then I would vote for orderly but immediate withdrawal. The Iraqi people, in public opinion polls, say they want the U.S. gone. Americans, in their majority, now oppose the war.

Ostroy Report: Let's shift to the Mark Foley scandal. Is the former Congressman guilty of any criminal violations, especially the laws he himself helped outline in his Adam Walsh Child Protect and Safety Act?

Hall: I won't comment on former Rep. Foley's misdeeds. A better question is, was there a systematic cover-up by the Republican leadership of Foley's actions, which reports say stretched back through the time my opponent was Chair of the House Page Board? And, why won't anyone stand up and take responsibility for letting this take place to begin with? For the Republicans, like my opponent, who are embroiled in this scandal, saving their political hides is much more important than the the safety and care of these children.

Ostroy Report: Onto a critical domestic issue: the budget deficit. How can we control spending and reduce our record debt?

Hall: We've spent nearly $400 billion on the war in Iraq, continue to subsidize profitable corporations with taxpayer dollars and have given the richest Americans a tax break amounting to nearly $2 trillion when all is said and done. Even rolling back these actions a trifle would save us huge amounts.

Ostroy Report: We're just three weeks away from the midterm elections, where the Democrats chances of winning both the House and Senate have never been better. How concerned are you about election fraud?

Hall: Around the country, in general, it's an important issue and should be addressed in a bi-partisan effort. I don't see it as a problem in the 19th CD.

Ostroy Report: In your opinion, what's the biggest issue facing America today, and how will you help address it?

Hall: The biggest issue of the days are ending the war in Iraq, achieving universal health care with an affordable prescription drug plan and finding safe, clean, renewable solutions to our energy needs. I will work hard for all these objectives. My ideas on how to attain all this can be found on my website http://www.johnhallforcongress.com/.

Ostroy Report: Before we let you go John, your prediction for November:

Hall: I think that Democrats will do extremely well this November given the present political climate. People look at the Bush administration's continuing record of failures and see Republican leaders in Congress without a clue on how to right the ship. I want to go to Washington and change things and return government to the people.

Ostroy Report: Thanks John. Good luck.

John Hall is the kind of Democrat we need to send to Washington. I urge you to do your best to support his candidacy. Click here to contribute to his campaign.

http://www.johnhallforcongress.com

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another Crooked Repug Under FBI Investigation. Weldon Stands to Lose PA's 7th District Seat to Democrat Sestak


Those pesky Republicans can't seem to keep their hands out of the cookie jar, can they? Over the weekend it was revealed that the FBI and Justice Department is investigating Republican Congressman Curt Weldon to determine if he used his political clout to secure lobbying and consulting work for his daughter's firm, Solutions North America, Inc. (SNA). Weldon, who's served the wealthy Philadelphia suburbs for ten terms, is now locked in a dead heat with Navy Admiral and former Clinton national security advisor Joe Sestak.

The Weldon camp was taken off guard by rumors of the investigation, and did its best to downplay the growing scandal. "I think if there was an investigation, somebody would have contacted us," said Russ Caso, Weldon's chief of staff. "Unidentified sources mean nothing," Caso said. "There's no substance in that story. It's a flimsy story."

At issue are lobbying contracts worth $1 million obtained by Karen Weldon and her business partner Charles Sexton. Both are registered with the Justice Department as representatives of foreign clients. The Feds are investigating what role Rep. Weldon had in securing SNA projects between 2002 and 2004 that helped two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers connected to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Sexton is a Republican ally of Weldon, who is vice chairman of the House Armed Services committee, speaks Russian and is a highly regarded foreign policy expert.

Ten days ago Rep. Weldon issued the following statement: "There's nothing there. It was investigated and it's over. It's done, it's closed." Umm, not quite Congressman. In fact, it would seem like your legal troubles are just beginning.

And now the Weldon campaign is doing what any good crooked Repug operation would do under these trying circumstances: blame the left! Michael Puppio, Weldon's campaign manager, accused Democrats of "attempting to smear the congressman and his entire family" in the final weeks of the campaign. Part of a pattern here, no? So, just when will these poor, helpless, innocent, 100% in control-of-every-branch-of-government Republicans stop being unjustly persecuted by Democrats?

Jen Psaki of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it's "bizarre, paranoid and absurd" for Weldon's camp to blame the left.

With just 21 days to go before the critical midterm elections, the GOP can't seem to get out from under. It's as if they're now on the scandal-a-day plan. The cast of crooked characters now includes Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Bob Taft, Scooter Libby, Bob Ney, Mark Foley, Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon, David Safavian and allegedly Weldon. It's starting to stink so bad in Washington they're going to need face-masks down there just to breathe.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Frank Rich and Andy Ostroy on Same "Page" About FoleyGate, Gays and the Republican Party


The venerable NY Times columnist Frank Rich is infinitely more talented and prominent than this writer. But this week we have very much in common. On October 12th I wrote a piece titled "FoleyGate Will Result in Greater Acceptance, Tolerance and Less Vitriol Against Gays By Republicans." Rich's op-ed Sunday Times is titled "The Gay Old Party Comes Out."

Earlier this past week I wrote: "Aside from perhaps being the proverbial House of Cards that brings down the GOP power chokehold, the Mark Foley scandal is a watershed moment in terms of how the Republican Party deals with homosexuality going forward....The importance of FoleyGate is that it shines a spotlight on the simple reality that the party with the loudest anti-gay voices is also the party that's filled with gays on every level, from staff member to Congressman to, as rumored, chairman of the party itself...The Foley scandal has proven to America that gay life is just as much a part of Republican life as it is in liberal circles. The only difference is that among conservatives it's more closeted and repressed... The true long-term significance of FoleyGate is that it proves to Mr. and Mrs. Joe America that the elephant is just as gay as his donkey colleague... As a result, I suspect the Republicans' push towards outlawing same-sex marriage and limiting other civil rights for gays will be muted at best and maybe even non-existent...The gay skeleton has been let out of the GOP closet. And he's not going back in."

Rich's piece Sunday included the following: "If anything good has come out of the Foley scandal, it is surely this: The revelation that the political party fond of demonizing homosexuals each election year is as well-stocked with trusted and accomplished gay leaders as virtually every other power center in America...Yet it is the same party's Congressional leadership that in 2006 did almost nothing about government spending, Iraq, immigration or ethics reform, but did drop everything to focus on a doomed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage...We must hope as well that this crisis will lead to a repudiation of the ritual targeting of gay people for sport at the top levels of the Republican leadership in and out of the White House."

I have a tremendous amount of respect and reverence for Frank Rich and consider him one of America's most prolific political writers. Which is why it's an honor to be on the same page (pun intended) with him on this issue. And while we're on fantasies? Perhaps Rich is an Ostroy Report reader who was inspired on October 12? I guess we'll never really know...

Minnesota Repug Says "Stay the Course" on Iraq. GOP Bailing Out of His Losing Campaign. Klobuchar Leads By 20 Points


Senate hopefuls Amy Klobuchar (D), a prosecutor, and Rep. Mark Kennedy (R) battled it out on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday. It was a strong showing for Klobuchar, and a standard evasive-Republican performance by Kennedy.

On Iraq, Kennedy regurgitated the GOP party line that the U.S. must stay the course. When asked by host Tim Russert if he would have changed his vote knowing what he now knows about the lack of WMD, Kennedy said: "We acted, you know, you can't really play TiVo and rewind in the real world, but let me just say this: First of all, I stand by my vote."

Russert called him on his inaccurate predictions about the war, citing what the Congressman said 10 months ago that "Progress was clear, we’re making great strides." Russert asked, "Why shouldn’t voters in Minnesota say, 'This is rosy-colored glasses. It’s not reality. There were no weapons of mass destruction and the level of sectarian violence is at an all-time high and Congressman Kennedy is saying, ‘Everything’s fine. We’re making progress.’"

Russert continued: Speaking of predictions, Congressman Kennedy, this is what you said six months ago. "I fully expect that over the next year there will be a significant number of troops who will be returning home because of success in Iraq." Flat wrong.

Kennedy: I said in November that...

Russert: But this is February, six months ago.

Kennedy: ...in February that we expected troops. We have less troops, not as much as I would like, we've run into tougher patches...

Russert: A significant number. Why can't you say you were wrong?

Moments later Klobuchar added: "I would ask him how come he won't even admit that he was wrong about voting for this war when we are in the situation we're in, when we've spent over $300 billion, when many members of his own party have admitted that this war was not the right direction, that in fact it has fomented terrorism. That we now have 16 agencies of our own government, of President Bush's administration saying that this has added more terrorism in this world."

Russert suggested that Kennedy, who now trails Klobuchar by 21 points according to a new Star Tribune poll, is being abandoned by the Republican Party. He pointed to a recent Minnesota Public Radio interview with Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman: "And it says here, 'Documents filed at [Minnesota television stations] KARE-11, KSTP-TV and WCCO-TV show that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has not bought or scheduled any ad time on behalf of [Mark] Kennedy....Republican Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican senator from Minnesota, acknowledges that Kennedy faces an uphill battle. Coleman said he's encouraging the campaign officials to invest in Minnesota but says they may be more concerned about other contests.'"

Lastly, as Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) did last week on the same program, Kennedy refused to say that Bush was a great president, choosing Talent's reply instead. "I belive history is going to make that decision. This is a guy who's human, like all of us. Has made mistakes, we've all made mistakes."

Friday, October 13, 2006

McCaskill Pulling Away in Hotly Contested Missouri Senate Race


With less than four weeks to go until the critical midterm elections, Missouri State Auditor and Democratic challenger to Sen. Jim Talent, Claire McCaskill, has pulled ahead five points in this key battleground state. The two candidates have been locked in a tight race, running neck and neck for weeks. But in a new poll conducted by Bennett, Petts & Blumenthal, McCaskill now leads Talent 48%-43%.

Other recent independent polls all show McCaskill and Talent in a statistical dead heat, making the new poll more significant since it's outside the 3.5 point margin of error. Rasmussen Reports has polled monthly in Missouri and, in three of the last four months, McCaskill held a minor lead.

McCaskill has had a terrific week in terms of head-to-head debates with Talent. She began the week Sunday with a very strong showing on Meet the Press, landing Talent on the ropes over his positions on Iraq, stem cell research and lockstep Bush voting. On Wednesday, McCaskill had the incumbent on the defensive once again.

The Democrats need six seats to regain control of the Senate. The non-partisan Cook Report this week has Republicans toss-ups in seven states: TN, OH, RI, MT, PA, VA and MO. In New Jersey, polls show Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez with anywhere from a 8-10 point lead.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Good News for "President" Al Gore?


Once considered the dark horse wonderboy of the Democratic Party, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner said Thursday he will not seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. His reasons? He doesn't want "to put everything else in my life on the back burner. While politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge, at this point, I want to have a real life," he said in a statement which appears on his political action committee web site.

Warner's decision is good news for former vice president Al Gore, who almost certainly will be joining the race despite coy attempts to play down his interest. He's been very creative in his "I have no interest in running at this time" evasive non-committals. But as many Democrats believe, the timing couldn't be better for Gore. Gore insiders have been saying for over a year that he'll be running.

As I've written in the past, the events of the last six years have greatly enhanced Gore's stature. What Al Gore represents today is honesty, integrity and a continuance of the peace and prosperity of the 1990's that he and Bill Clinton gave America. Gore's the guy you want running the country in these troubled times. We need a creative, intelligent, articulate president with a natural curiosity, a solid grasp of the issues, strong leadership skills, and a respect and appreciation for diplomacy.

We're a nation at war in Iraq with no end in sight. We face nuclear threats from N. Korea and Iran. Afghanistan is once again on the brink of being overrun by a resurgent Taliban and drug lords. Hurricane Katrina has shown that we are woefully unprepared for natural disaster here at home. Global warming, Gore's signature issue, is no longer just a concern of science geeks. The economy faces serious challenges, spending is out of control, energy prices are high, job creation is weak and real wages are stagnant. Washington, D.C. under Republican rule has been rife with corruption and scandal. Can you imagine a better table-setting for The Goracle?

As 2008 rapidly approaches, the next big question is whether Sen. Hillary Clinton will abandon her New York constituency and attempt to be the first Senator since John Kennedy to become president. But just ask most Democrats who they'd vote for, Gore or Clinton, and you may begin to answer that question yourself.

Bush Predicts GOP Victories in November. If That Isn't the Kiss of Death for Republicans, What Is?


President Bush said he sees victory in the midterm elections for Republican Congressman and Senators. Does he also see the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy as well? The man who couldn't possibly get any more delusional just got, well, more delusional. That's a sure-fire kiss-of-death for the GOP. Bush has been wrong about everything foreign and domestic. He's become a pariah in his own party because of it. He's also been very good at the "if I say it, it must be true" game. But he's always wrong. So when he sees victory, assume the opposite will occur. And that's great news for Democrats.

"We’ll have a Republican speaker and a Republican leader of the Senate, and the reason I say that is because I believe the two biggest issues in this campaign are, one, the economy and the economy is growing," Bush predicted Wednesday in a Rose Garden fantasy moment with reporters.

"Democrats will raise taxes. Now, I know they say only on rich people, but that’s in my judgment--having been around here long enough to know--it’s just code word: They’re going to raise them on whoever they can raise them on." Aha! Another sure sign that Republicans are going to lose. With all the disasters surrounding him over Iraq, Afghanistan, Foley, etc., he's choosing to play the tax card. Can you say, diversion? But will voters care one iota what Bush has to say right now about what Democrats will or won't do if elected? I think they're too busy worrying about what Republicans will do if Democrats aren't. All recent polls show that Americans are fed up with the GOP-led Congress and believe that Democrats will better handle Iraq, terrorism, education, health care, and yes, taxes.

"The fact is," said Rep. Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip "this is the most fiscally irresponsible administration in American history."

FoleyGate Will Result in Greater Acceptance, Tolerance and Less Vitriol Against Gays By Republicans


Aside from perhaps being the proverbial House of Cards that brings down the GOP power chokehold, the Mark Foley scandal is a watershed moment in terms of how the Republican Party deals with homosexuality going forward. And that's a very good thing, not just for gays, but for the nation as a whole.

The importance of FoleyGate is that it shines a spotlight on the simple reality that the party with the loudest anti-gay voices is also the party that's filled with gays on every level, from staff member to Congressman to, as rumored, chairman of the party itself.

For over a dozen years now Republicans have presented themselves to America as the party of ethics, morality and family values. They've spent incalculable time, money and political currency trying to pass discriminatory legislation--on both the federal and state levels--against gays. They've told us that straight is right and gay is wrong. That straight is Republican, and gay is a by-product of the loosey-goosey amoral Democratic Party. Those days are over.

The Foley scandal has proven to America that gay life is just as much a part of Republican life as it is in liberal circles. The only difference is that among conservatives it's more closeted and repressed. And that fact gave Republicans a false justification to spew their hypocritical venom towards gays and make them the scapegoats for everything wrong with the fabric of American society. Their overall message? That being gay is a liberal problem, not a conservative one. Well, guess again. Foley, his former chief of staff Kirk Fordham, former House Clerk and Hastert appointee Jeff Trandahl (at the center of the Foley page scandal) and Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona are openly gay. There are rumors about Rep. David Dreier (R-CA), RNC Chair Ken Mehlman and others as well. The true long-term significance of FoleyGate is that it proves to Mr. and Mrs. Joe America that the elephant is just as gay as his donkey colleague.

Don't get me wrong here. FoleyGate won't mean that Repubs all of a sudden find Jesus on this issue. Their hypocrisy will long outlive Foley. But what it will do is take away a very powerful, very decisive weapon--a hate-based wedge issue of the ugliest kind--that the Repubs have used extremely effectively to draw lines in the sand and to get-out-the-vote. As a result, I suspect the Republicans' push towards outlawing same-sex marriage and limiting other civil rights for gays will be muted at best and maybe even non-existent. The bully-pulpit has been embarrassingly dismantled.

Perhaps the ultimate benefit to come out of FoleyGate, in addition to being the final catalyst in the fall of the GOP, will be a greater tolerance and acceptance--even if forced--of gays by American conservatives and in particular, those in positions of power. The gay skeleton has been let out of the GOP closet. And he's not going back in.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

John McCain is a Shameless Sellout


Sen. John McCain has his nose so far up George Bush's ass lately it's a wonder he can still breathe. Like many, I've lost all respect for the guy who once had the balls to tell it like it is and stand up to the president. The quintessential Independent. The guy no one could own. Well that was then and this is now. With his eye on the 2008 presidential election, McCain has been selling himself faster than a hooker at a hardware convention.

McCain's latest pro-Bush salvo has been fired at former President Bill Clinton, for whom he blames N. Korea's recent nuclear missile test. Taking a jab at both Clintons, the Arizona Senator said: "I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other critics of the Bush administration policies that the framework agreement of the Clinton administration was a failure.... The Koreans received millions of dollars in energy assistance ... and what did the Koreans do? They secretly enriched uranium...We had a carrots-and-no-sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior. When one carrot didn't work, we offered another."

Sen. Clinton fired back in a statement: "Now is not the time to play politics of the most dangerous kind--with our policy on North Korea. History is clear that nothing the Bush administration has done has stopped the North Koreans from openly testing a nuclear weapon and presenting a new danger to the region of the world." Since 9/11, it continued, Bush "has allowed the 'axis of evil' to spin out of control. Our Iraq policy is a failure. Iran is going nuclear and North Korea is testing nuclear weapons."

And, the William J. Clinton Foundation issued its own statement, saying it was "unfortunate that anyone would attempt to rewrite history to score political points at a time when we need to address this serious threat. For eight years during the Clinton administration, there was no new plutonium production, no nuclear-weapons tests and, therefore, no additional nuclear weapons developed on President Clinton's watch." The statement also pointed out that former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Clinton's policy toward North Korea in 2001.

Over the past couple of years McCain has increasingly sidled up to Bush, shedding his once roguish Independent skin. The man they call the 'anti-Bush' has thrown his support to the prez most notably on illegal wiretappings, tribunals and torture, measures he first opposed (ironically as a much heralded torture victim himself) before being strong-armed by the Busheviks. He's clearly bucking for the president's affection and official seal of approval as the vast field of Republican hopefuls jockey for '08 positioning. Is McCain expecting Bush to hand him the political mantle? Has a secret deal to support a McCain candidacy been made in exchange for the seemingly unyielding support of a distressed presidency? So now we have McCain choosing to ignore six years of Bush's failed foreign policy only to blame Clinton instead for our N. Korea problems. If that isn't proof, I don't know what is.

...And They're Still Blaming Everything on Clinton....


Just about a year ago I parodied an absurd NY Times Op-ed by David Brooks. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, very little, except the death count and dollars spent, has changed...

David Brooks' Incredibly Misguided NY Times Op-ed

David Brooks sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 am writing notes to himself. He, like his Republican brethren in the Fourth Estate, is still aghast that anyone, let alone Democrats, would demand accountability from the Bush administration over its failed war in Iraq, its manipulation of intelligence to justify the invasion, and its subsequent conspiracy to cover up the truth. He ponders how his party and its inept leaders can spin their way out of what is an obvious colossal policy screw up and breach of the nation's trust. Two words immediately come to mind: Bill Clinton. "That's it! We'll blame it on Bill like we always do!"

What Brooks and the rest of the conservative spinmeisters know that the rest of us don't is that Bill Clinton is at the head of a large conspiratorial organization--a top-secret group of highly trained covert operatives--that are responsible for every Bush administration failure. Take Iraq for example, the highly unjust, ill-advised and ill-fated quagmire that to-date has killed over 2000 American soldiers, wounded and maimed 20,000, and cost U.S. taxpayers over $200 billion. And let's not forget the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis who've lost their lives. You may not know this, but the Iraq war is all Bill Clinton's fault. It's true, as Brooks points out today, that former Clinton officials William Cohen, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, Al Gore and even Bill himself all sounded the "Saddam has massive stockpiles of WMD" alarm. Of course they did. It was all part of the master plan to set up the Bushies years later.

The Clintonistas, despite this public posturing of Saddam's alleged grave threat to America, knew damn well that his WMD stockpiles were non-existent. In fact, according to one insider, this group, known as WHIGTUB (White House Iraq Group to Undermine Bush), would sit around the Oval Office, smoking cigars and drinking Bud Lights, joking about Saddam's "arsenal," which they all knew consisted of nothing more than "firecrakers and cherry bombs." The Clintons knew that years later the Bushies would run with this "intelligence," manipulating it to justify their war. In short, it was Clinton, not Bush, who manufactured evidence, and then purposefully held off pulling the trigger on any sort of military action against Iraq because he knew Bush would. Worse, he knew Bush would ultimately fail, and face political and public humiliation and embarrassment when the real truth--no WMD--came out.

And what about the serious challenges we face with the economy these days? Yup, you got it. Bill Clinton strikes again. Those seven years of unprecedented prosperity back in the 90's? All a ruse by the Clintonistas to yet again set up Bush for failure and undermine future economies. How politically calculating, how devious, how self-serving it was for former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and the Clinton administration to orchestrate such economic success; to set the bar so high that no future president could match this prosperity.

David Brooks sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 am and scribbles more inane, paranoid notes to himself. He's trying to reconcile how anyone could actually blame Bush, for Bush's failed policies, which he, like millions of other Republicans, believes is not only unfair, but blatantly partisan. Bush has only been in office five years! That's not even two full terms, and certainly not enough time to see his policies through successfully.

Brooks realizes there is only one solution: Clinton, Clinton, Clinton, Clinton...... "Must keep blaming Clinton for every screw-up our dunce of a president commits. Must divert attention away from Iraq, the economy, Social Security, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Plamegate, Katrina, and tax cuts for the wealthy by reminding America of Bill's sexual indiscretions. Must expose Democrats' self-serving partisan intent to undermine our great president by incessently demanding accountability for his alleged mistakes and ethical transgressions."

David Brooks sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 am.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Polls Show Bush's Recent "Terror Tour" Backfired Against Him and the GOP. Voters Are Finally Saying Enough


For the better part of the past several years, whenever the news out of Iraq got too negative, the Rovian strategy was to roll out President Bush on a national PR tour to bolster support for his failing foreign policy. There'd be a lot of smoke and mirrors and bait and switch involving the war in Iraq and the war against terrorists. And the strategy usually worked, at least in the near term, towards boosting Bush's approval ratings and diverting Americans' attention away from the war's failure. But just 27 days away from the critical midterm elections, it's clear that this game-plan no longer works. In fact, Bush's recent swing through several states to garner public support for the war and his administration's handling of it, is backfiring big time. Voters are rebelling, as polls increasingly indicate November 7th will likely be a dreadful day for the president and the Republican Party.

A new NY Times/CBS News poll released Monday, shows that:

-Those approving of Bush's handling of terrorism dropped to 46% from 54% in the past two weeks
-Americans are now evenly divided (41R-40D) on which party they think would better handle terrorism, the first time in Bush's presidency that Democrats didn't trail. Before Labor Day, Republicans had a 42-34% edge
-Bush's job approval rating dropped from 37% to 34%
-83% believe Bush is either hiding something or lying when he discusses Iraq
-57% believe Bush knew of pre-9/11 intelligence reports that warned of impending attacks using airplanes. This is up from 41% in May 2002
-47% of voters now believe Democrats are the party of moral values, not Republicans (38%)

Additionally, a Newsweek poll released last week virtually mirrors the Times/CBS poll on voter sentiments on the major issues including Iraq, terrorism, values, the GOP and the economy. Politically speaking, the numbers are pretty bleak overall.

In short, the GOP has lost its crucial edge on terrorism and values, and is sinking fast in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal and the explosive revelations that came out of the recent National Intelligence Estimate (that the Iraq war has fueled terrorism and made America less safe) and the new Bob Woodward book (that the Busheviks have been in a colossal dysfunctional state over the war, and that they've been lying to Americans about its progress or lack thereof). Voters are clearly disgusted and ready for change. With the Foley scandal having more legs than a centipede, victory in the House and Senate, once a remote fantasy, is now very much a reality.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sean Hannity is a Big, Fat Lying Hypocritical Repuglican Blowhard


Just when you think the GOP would fully implode over the Mark Foley scandal, that crazy little communist dictator Kim Jong Il comes racing to the rescue with N. Korea's first ever nuclear test. The right wing spin-monkeys were in virtual heat today as a result, gabbing non-stop about it in a desperate attempt to shift the national debate back onto familiar terror-tory and off perverted and corrupt Republican Congressmen. And who better to carry that torch than Sean Hannity.

In his nationally-syndicated radio program today the Hanster was obsessed with this new global story, invoking former President Bill Clinton's name about a bazillion times. According to the Han-man, it's all Clinton's fault that N. Korea has nuclear weapons today. Listening to this nimrod you'd think Clinton's term in office ended just as the test was conducted this week. He casually forgets to discuss in any great detail the fact that Bush has been president for the past six years and has done nothing to stem the proliferation of N. Korean nukes during this period. To the contrary, Bush's words ("Axis of Evil") and actions (or lack thereof) have served to do nothing but alienate and anger the rogue nation and its leader.

In October 1994 Clinton ushered through his Agreed Framework between the United States and N. Korea which primarily called for: (1) the replacement of N. Korea's weapons-producing power plants with light water reactor (LWR) power plants; (2) the providing of oil, heating and electricity while the reactors were shut down; (3) the two sides to move toward full normalization of political and economic relations; (4) the U.S. to provide formal assurances against the threat or use of nuclear weapons; (5) N. Korea to remain a party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; (6) IAEA inspections to resume; (7) existing spent nuclear fuel stocks to be stored and ultimately disposed of without reprocessing; and (8) N. Korea to come into full compliance with its safeguards agreement with the IAEA before delivery of key LWR nuclear components.

But Newt Gingrich's Republican Revolution swept the Repugs into power shortly thereafter, and the new GOP-controlled Congress failed to support the measure. Many in the party considered it appeasement, and the U.S. soon failed to deliver the transitional oil supplies, as outlined, in a timely manner. And then in 2000 Bush became president, and his foreign policy strategy with N. Korea was no foreign policy strategy at all. Since coming into office, Bush has refused repeated overtures by Kim Jong Il to open direct talks, insisting that all negotiations with the North occur within a 6-party framework.

The bottom-line here, as the NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof points out, is that there was no weapons-producing plutonium obtained by N. Korea during the Clinton years. Under Bush? Enough to make eight nuclear bombs.

A couple of key questions for the Hannitizer:
1. Just what the heck has Bush done to stop N. Korea from gaining nuclear weapons?
2. Isn't it true that while Bush has been wasting time, effort, money and soldiers lives in Iraq--a country with no WMD, and which posed no threat to us whatsoever--he's taken his eye off of our real enemies in N. Korea and Afghanistan?
3. And even if Clinton was totally inept, what has that got to do with Bush's term in office? Is six years not enough for the Busheviks to actually do something about this problem? Really Sean, what's your point here?

Hannity's M.O. is simple: he spews nothing but inflammatory, hateful deceptive rhetoric and lies as he attempts to bolster the Busheviks' positions. He accused Democrats today of "retreating and waving the white flag in the war on terror." He says Democrats follow the "Clinton style" which is "pathetically weak on defense." These are absurd claims. Given what we now know about WMD, Iraq and terrorism from the recent NIE, the new Bob Woodward book, and other very credible sources, it's a miracle that he has any listeners at all after vomiting such bile.

It makes me want to puke when I hear Hannity claim that this week's N. Korean nuclear test is a "see, Bush was right" moment. Bush is right about nothing. Nothing. And even if he was right about N. Korea, what the hell has he done about it in the last six years? He's not supposed to be right. He's supposed to do his job.

Throughout his show today Hannity kept harping on the fact that Democrats are more concerned with discussing the meaningless Foley story rather than focus on more important issues like N. Korea's nuclear test. Of course, he, Rove, Bush, Cheney, Condi, Limbaugh and the rest of 'em have been praying for something like this to happen to take the corruption and scandal heat off of them. So he endlessly vilifies Dems for talking Foley. But then what does Hannity do moments later? He proceeds to have on his program Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator Magazine, who wrote a story last week accusing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of riding in a float six years ago during the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade while the controversial gay activist, Harry Hay, also participated. For years before his death, Hay had been very vocal in defending NAMBLA's right to march in the parade. NAMBLA is the North American Man/Boy Love Association. The parade hosted 700,000 people, according to Lord, and Pelosi sat 4 floats behind Hay. To Hannity, this "scandal" is supposed to equate to what Foley did, and the ensuing cover up by Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader John Boehner, and others. This man has no shame whatsoever.

Let's sum up, shall we? Minutes after he skewers Democrats for trying to keep the Foley scandal hot, he goes ahead and dredges up up six year old garbage about two people being among 700,000 at a freakin' Gay pride parade. This may come as a shock to you Sean, you rabid hypocrite, but you're most likely going to find an unsavory character or two at SF's annual Gay Pride Parades.

Lastly, Hannity re-regurgitated ad infinitum his ongoing tirade about former Democratic Congressman Gerry Studds, who in 1983 was censured after admitting to having sex with a 17-year-old male page. He called Pelosi a hypocrite for her condemnation of Foley, Hastert, etc while sitting idly by and condoning Studds' behavior while she served in the House in 1983. As her bio states, Pelosi did not become a Congresswoman until 1987.

Sean Hannity, you are a big, fat, lying Repuglican hypocrite blowhard.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Missouri Democratic Challenger McCaskill Hits a Home Run on Meet the Press Debate with Sen. Jim Talent


With less than a month to go before the critical midterm elections, the battle for control of the U.S. Senate is heating up intensely, as poll after poll shows Democrats gaining momentum in their bid to capture the six seats needed to gain a majority. One of the hottest contested races is between Missouri Sen. Jim Talent and his challenger, State Auditor and former prosecutor Claire McCaskill. They met Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press as part of the program's ongoing debate series. McCaskill hit it out of the park.

Talent came across as evasive and in denial, and made false claims about McCaskill's record. Like most Republicans who supported the Iraq war, he said he'd vote for it again even after knowing that WMD did not exist. Despite headlines Sunday in the Washington Post and other papers that the violence is spiraling out of control, Talent stood by his earlier claim this year that things "were going well" in the civil war-torn country. On the war, McCaskill said "You know, Iraq is a mess. We can either stay the course or we can change course. And obviously, even the leader of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Warner, probably the most respected Republican on the Iraq war in Washington, has now come back from Iraq and said, 'You know what? This is a mess and we need to re-examine what we’re doing here.'" She supports setting a timetable of approximately two years at which time our troops would be deployed to other key locations such as Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar.

Talent accused McCaskill of opposing a ban on partial-birth abortions, yet was shot down as the Democratic hopeful directly answered host Tim Russert with a firm "yes" when asked if she opposed the controversial procedure. Talent also accused McCaskill of not supporting the administration's surveillance efforts in the war on terror, a claim which yet again was refuted. "You know, playing politics with this issue is not making us safer," McCaskill said. "I absolutely support surveillance. As somebody who has handled very tough criminal cases, I understand the importance of aggressive surveillance within the framework of laws. And frankly, if they were more concerned about tough surveillance and not about election year politics, they would have gotten a bill through that would have allowed us to have the tools we need to go after terrorists around the globe."

Russert also put Talent on the spot over his flip-flopping on stem-cell research, an issue for which he's changed his position several times in the face of changing political climates, while McCaskill voiced her complete support. "My faith directs me to heal the sick," she said. "God gave us the miracle of human intelligence to find cures. Our country has never turned its back on medical research and we shouldn’t in Missouri... I come down on the side of hope, hope for cures and supporting science. And I think it’s very important that someone be principled, strong and not muddled, but very clear and straightforward about their position on this issue."

When asked by Russert whether he thought Bush was a "great president," Talent, who voted with the president 94% of the time, waffled and could not say yes. His best answer was that "history judges presidents." Yet when asked whether she thought Bill Clinton was a great president, McCaskill emphatically replied "yes."

All in all, Talent appeared the product of a scared, desperate, scrambling party whose back is to the wall with very few, if any, options. The mounting problems from the war; the recent NIE which reported that Iraq is fueling terrorism; the explosive, damaging revelations in the new Bob Woodward book; the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan; the sagging economy; high gas prices; and corruption and scandal will likely make for a very, very difficult November for Republicans.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Georgia Repug Congressman Shamelessly Calls Foley's Initial Correspondence With 16-Year-Old Page "G-Rated Emails"


Is there no shame left among anyone anymore in the Republican Party? Are they all just a bunch of morally-bankrupt, self-serving partisan spinheads obsessed solely with preserving their power? Is there no new low that this gang of corrupt thugs will sink to in order to protect their own from scandal and place blame on Democrats, the media and/or anyone else they can find? Have they gotten so drunk with power that lies, deception and criminality is justified so long as it comes from Republicans? Pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio, watch TV news programs and that's exactly what's happening right now. The Republican Party is now officially out of control and running amok through D.C.

On MSNBC's Hardball Friday, host Chris Matthews interviewed two Congressmen serving as surrogates for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who, along with other Republican leaders including Majority Leader John Boehner and RNCC chair Rep. Tom Reynolds (NY), have been under fire over the who knew what and when of the Mark Foley sex scandal. In defense of Hastert, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) blew off Foley's original communications to an underage male page as "G-rated emails."

Let's break this down a bit for the Congressman, whose own moral judgment is clearly impaired. Was it considered "G-rated" by the boy, who complained to his parents and told his pal, another page, that it was "sick, sick, sick" when Foley flirted with him and asked for a picture? Was it considered "G-rated" by the boy's parents, who complained to their Representative, Rodney Alexander (R-La)? Was it considered "G-rated" by Alexander when he ran to tell Reynolds and Boehner? Was it considered "G-rated" by Alexander, Reynolds and Boehner when, as they claim, they told Hastert about it (Hastert does not recall being told)? Was it considered "G-rated" by Hastert's office when they informed the Clerk of the House about it? Was it considered "G-rated" by the Clerk, who then told Page Board Chair Rep. John Shimkus (R-ILL)? Was it considered "G-rated" by Shimkus when he chose not to tell the lone Democrat on the Page Board? And was it considered "G-rated" by all of these amoral liars, including Hastert, when they confronted Foley and warned him not to contact the boy again? Yeah, this panicked display of cover your of assage sure appears to come from a bunch of calm, cool and collected "G-rated" email readers, no? How dare Kingston insult the intelligence of every American with this irresponsible and reprehensible partisan crap. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

And then there was Kingston's partner in television crime, Rep. Jack McHenry (NC), in an attempt to blame Democrats for allegedly sitting on the Foley news until weeks before the midterm elections, telling Matthews: "This is not about Denny Hastert. It's about the perverted acts perpetrated by Mark Foley, and the only question that remains is, what did the Democratic leadership know and when did they know it." Can ya believe that? These guys control every ounce of power in Washington, control every single House and Senate committee, and somehow it's the Democrats who are responsible for this outrageous cover-up?

McHenry then went on to reiterate his challenge to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) and DCCC head Rep. Rahm Emanuel (ILL) to "submit themselves under oath," a challenge he has yet to make to Hastert, Boehner, Reynolds and the other Repugs involved. We always knew these guys were good at bait and switch and swift-boating, but, turning this into a Democratic scandal? Thankfully, as several new polls indicate, voters have finally had enough of this colossal bullshit. The Repugs' reign of terror is likely going to come to an end in just 31 days.

A new Rasmussen poll shows that 61% believe the Republican leadership acted in a cover-up to protect Foley. More troubling, an astounding 31% of Republicans believe that as well. A new Time Magazine poll has 64% of voters saying it was a cover-up. And in a new AP/Ipsos poll which asked how important corruption and scandal in Congress will be at election time, a whopping 48% said "very much" or "extremely." 16% said "moderately." That's 64% who will close the curtain behind them and pull the lever with Repuglican corruption on the brain. Glory freakin' Hallelujah.