Who Will Be The New Congressional Democratic Lions?

I hate to bring up such a sad subject at such a tough time but, considering times don’t appear headed for wild wonderfulness any year soon and the subject’s too important to ignore, here goes:

With the hospitalizations of two of the Senate longest reigning Democrats, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who will be our new lions? Do we have any in the making?

Vermont’s newest Senator, long-time Socialist House Rep, Bernie Sanders is already proving to be a fire brand. But he arrived in the upper house a bit late. Wellstone is dead. Corzine, who showed promise, went to be governor of New Jersey. We’ll have to see if Hillary and Barack remain in the Senate after this year (some speculation has Hillary being handed the governorship of New York on a platter, but I’d love to see what resigned-gov Eliot Spitzer’s replacement, David Patterson as the state’s first leader of color, will do).

Have any contenders we should watch for?

Romney As McCain’s VP Choice?

While I think it’s a full-blooded guarantee that WHOEVER John McCain picks to run with him on the Republican presidential ticket for November’s election will be a 325% right winging whackjob with an agenda as big as his (or her, since SuckSecretary of State Condi Rice’s name keeps coming up in relation to McCain’s VP choice) ego, hearing former GOP challenger Mitt Romney is on the relative short list of potential veeps leaves me stone cold (and dyspeptic!).

Well, we’ve rarely seen such concentrated wealth in one party’s Prez/VP combo. Cindy McCain alone is worth a very conservative $200 million.

But, unless one or both of these folks wants to just write a personal check to pay off the national debt (and they’re welcome to write that check if they don’t get elected, too), I don’t think we need more over privileged, under taxed, rich emperor wannabees in the White House.

While the right just LOVES to depict Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as elitists out of touch with the people due to their money and celebrity, BHO and HRC at least earned their money, and not on the bloodied backs of so many broken Americans and laborers worked to death in factories propped up by our fair trade pact agreements that are growing, rather than curing, poverty and the unsustainability of declining resources.

On another sour note, if McCain is willing to consider Romney and Huckabee and Sam Brownback as VP possibilities, there really isn’t any hope that he would align himself with a sane, moderate type that might provide our only lifeline if the GOP steals this presidential election for a record three in a row.

As The Pol Media Whines…

Have you noticed how the media has stepped up the rhetoric to make it sound like the Democrats are being unreasonable by continuing the race to see who will be the candidate to go up against the GOP’s mercurial McCain in November?

Suddenly, CNN and various other entities have been screaming that it can only hurt Democrats to continue the race. Huh?

The Democratic National Convention ISN’T until late summer. Many Americans – and not just Dems alone – are wondering who they will vote for and still doing their research, regardless of whether their states have already had their primaries or not. Hell, I’ve got a notebook partially filled with things I like best vs. not at all about both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama which sometimes makes it tough for me to be sure one is a lot better than the other.

At the same time, the media seems ready to give “poor” McCain an easy run with relatively few tough questions, not even about the things he vacillates on more stormily than a volcano about to blow.

I don’t recall much talk about how Mike Huckabee, who just left the race, was “hurting” Republicans by making them…. oh God, no, we can’t have this!… have a presumable choice between Governor “Unintelligent Design” Huckabee and Senator “Suddenly I Don’t Believe In Evolution But Probably It’s Because I’ve Never Evolved Myself” McCain.

Screw the mass media. We have important decisions to make. We need our time.

For McCain It’s One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Tonight is a good night for Senator John McCain.  He is sweeping today’s Republican primary contests and will accumulate all the delegates he needs to win the nomination tonight.  Mike Huckabee is going to concede and there is no way that McCain can not be the Republican nominee at this point. Continue reading

Obama, McCain Expected To Win Vermont

Unofficial polls tell us that Vermont will vote overwhelmingly today for Barack Obama (and Vermont is a state where independent voters outnumber Democrats and Republicans), which follows the state trend where Obama has been getting $10 in contributions here for every $1 given to Hillary Clinton (Republicans haven’t been so popular here of late, so while Ron Paul has gotten some nice contributions here, I doubt John McCain or Mike Huckabee have).

In unofficial polls of all voters, the rankings for today have been coming in about like this:

Obama – 43%
Clinton – 30%
McCain – 19%
Paul – 7%
Huckabee – 1%

A Nation Depressed: Why We Need More Than Prozac And Zoloft To Jumpstart America’s Optimism

As I sat battling the entire long weekend with pesky hardware problems among two different PC systems in addition to household leaks following some record snowfall all while experiencing the joy of feeling my glands swell and my nose turn raw while I also reviewed my tax returns, I couldn’t help but think that if misery loves company, I’ve got a multitude of new pals.

Sure, some Americans are having a decent time of it, but that percentage is literally dropping more everyday. Even among those who identify themselves as mostly maintaining their current living standard in one of the roughest prolonged financial “repressions” in the last century, many agree that not only is the U.S. in trouble economically, but our mental state is suffering, too.

In the last decade, we’ve seen one big change after another; most of them pretty awful. For example, we’re now seeing our first generations in recent American history where working adults are NOT making more than their parents did; where there is grave concern that what little “universal” health care we currently enjoy – Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for poorer kids – is failing badly.

Not since the Great Depression of the late 1920s-1930s have so many Americans:

  • either lost or are in serious danger of soon losing their homes
  • seen their paychecks cover less and less of basic living costs
  • needed to use credit cards more and more to pay for groceries and prescriptions, and basic costs, which is considered usually a very bad sign of economic health
  • worry that their own kids won’t be able to afford to go to college, own a home of their own, have a job that will cover their basic livings expenses, etc.
  • Considering so much of this picture has become grim under the Republicans’ watch, how can ANYONE even consider voting for a McCain or a Huckabee in November? As a Democrat, I’m not sure my candidate can bring about enough of a change as quickly as our country needs but I’ll take that concern over choosing one of the GOP disasters.

    And Mitt Romney Is O-U-T; Suspends Campaign

    The rats are starting to sink faster.

    Considering his poor showing, I can’t imagine why he didn’t drop out well before Super Tuesday. If you can only win in states where Mormon is practiced as a way of life (and I have nothing against Mormonism except that it’s yet another practice that devalues women, blacks, anyone not white male)…

    But Mitt’s failings have nothing to do with his religion, although I’m sure there are those who opposed him principly because of it: he was the architect of Boston’s disastrous megolithic Big Dig that made him and pals even more rich and the people of the city poorer, to name just one. Then there were his statements that “people want change except for any change of direction in Washington.”

    God help us if Romney thinks most are looking for status quo in Washington among Republicans OR Democrats. But the stench does continue with McCain and Huckabee, men who don’t believe in evolution because… well, it’s clear they never evolved. Me? I’m hoping God smites ‘em. ;)

    Projected Winners on Super Tuesday

    Mind you, projecting winners, as the media does it, is downright scary (but then, so is MSNBC still letting Chris Matthews anywhere near a microphone for these predictions), but so far according to CNN and MSNBC:

    Democrat Clinton takes:

    Arkansas
    Connecticut
    Delaware
    Massachusetts (earlier called for Obama)
    New Jersey
    New York
    Oklahoma
    Tennessee

    Democrat Obama takes:

    Alabama
    Georgia
    Illinois
    Kansas (projected)
    North Dakota
    Utah (some still say Utah’s in play)

    Republican John McCain takes:

    Connecticut
    Delaware
    Illinois
    New Jersey
    New York
    Oklahoma

    Republican Mitt Romney (and if this isn’t pitiful and predicted, what is?):

    Massachusetts,
    Utah

    Republican Mike Huckabee:

    Arkansas
    Georgia
    West Virginia

    But with California, especially, still to count….

    And here’s an interesting sidenote: right now, in Utah’s Democratic votes, regardless of the current predictions, John Edwards leads (I think those with brains may be frightened of some of the long time residents).

    The West Virginia GOP Voting “Who’s On First, McCain On Last” Switcheroo

    Well, the first “result” of Super Tuesday is in, and it’s from wheeler-dealer (not Wheeling, per se) West Virginia’s Republican caucus.

    After a FIRST vote would have overwhelmingly handed the state’s GOP delegates to Mitt Romney, a second round gave the nod to Mike Huckabee, with John McCain getting just 1% of final votes cast and Ron Paul never making it past the first round.

    Don’t ask me to explain it. This sounds too cussed even for my New England patriot (not Patriots) Yankee bloodlines “birthplace of original American separatism and initial democracy’s own brand of cussedness” can quite appreciate.

    Will McCain Divide The Republican Party In Two?

    We’re hearing more and more about this possibility; largely, it’s based on numbers that show McCain is winning among anti-war Republicans and Independents (interesting since McCain is pro-war) while Romney seems to be the candidate of the corporate GOP (while the Super Tuesday mantra is “a vote for Huckabee is a vote for Romney”).

    But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard it. Pat Buchanan’s last big run several years back was supposed to divide the GOP. It didn’t. Ultimately, on a searing hot day, snakes always go to where it’s cool and don’t mind as much who they share their under-rock with.

    Do you think there is any possibility McCain will cause an actual divide in the red state empire? If so, how do you see it playing out – a division no more severe (but still hurtful) like the DLC-DNC divide in Democrats, or a full out bifurcation perhaps extending all the way into two different parties? I doubt the latter.

    The Barack/Hillary vs. The Clinton/Obama Dream Team? Unh-Uh

    Since last night, we’re hearing more and more speculation that one of the two still-standing Democratic presidential candidates may be very willing to become the Vice Presidential candidate for the other.

    Sorry, but I don’t see it. I think that Obama and Clinton are each in unique positions whereby becoming the second fiddle to the other might be a tough swallow – and either faces some issues with the neanderthals (points to anyone who pronounces “thals” as “t’als” as it should be) who will insist that when a black man and a white woman make up the presidential team, America will be a day late and a dollar short. Sadly, as we’re seeing from McCain, Huckabee, Romney and other campaigns, some of the people who shouldn’t have survived the gene pool war in “survival of the fittest” made it here anyway (Rudy Giuliani, for example).

    I’d like to think Barack might pick John Edwards but I’m not hopelessly optimistic there; I think he has some good choices. Who Hillary would pick though… wow… not at all sure. But with some of the endorsements of the last few days, I suspect it may be Barack’s decision to make.

    God help us if McCain wins, because HIS Vice President would be Lieberman or (choke) Giuliani or (choke some more) The Governator of California, The Arnold. Stink bombs, all.

    Your take?

    Republicans: We Trust In The Brilliance Of Dead People Who Killed America

    Sorry, I got felled by hand problems the last few days BUT… I’m even more distressed to listen to the Republicans debate at California’s Ronald Reagan Library in the last GOP debate before Super Tuesday next week invoke in every other word the name of Ronnie Raygun – the man who said “fuck the poor; if you aren’t a millionaire, I don’t want to hear from you” – in every other breath.

    The LAST time Ronald Reagan had a salient thought was back in the 1950s when, as a Democrat, he headed the Screen Actors Guild and tried to mediate the damage being done by horrible hatemongerers like Joe McCarthy tried to force everyone in government and Hollywood to name fellow workers and friends as “reds”, even when it was not true. After that, he got involved with Nancy Davis, an even less talented actress (but oh so rich and from old California Republican money) than First Lady – not that Ronnie was a good actor), became a Republican and, like too many in the GOP, disconnected his brain. By the time he reached the White House, he was already well into the grips of Alzheimer’s Disease – it’s a huge lie that the effects came after he left office; Alzheimer’s does NOT work like that.

    So if you aren’t afraid YET that the Republicans want to return to the “glory” days of the Reaganomics 80s, you damned well should be. Anyone who didn’t make it rich in the 1980s had a damned hard time… and the people who puppeteered Reagan made sure of that!

    Kucinich Out; When We Lose Candidates Like Him, However, We ALL Lose

    The blog at the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is dropping out of his bid for the Democratic nomination, abandoning his run for U.S. commander-in-chief in this november’s 2008 race. Kucinich stayed in throughout the 2004 race but this time, faced with challenges for his Congressional seat back home (says CPD), the one-of-a-kind presidential candidate says he does not want to risk losing his House of Representatives seat – where he is one of the most truly progressive hearts and minds to be found on Capitol Hill – and I certainly would hate to lose him there as well.

    Whether you supported Kucinich or not – and I admit I’m leaning more towards John Edwards – I think we all lose when a man like Dennis is forced out of the race. Why? Because he stands for real issues and stands up for real people. It is a pitiful, quite obscene statement about what America has become if a person (and in Dennis’ case, the best kind of idealist) who wants the United States to actually BE all the positive things we like to say we are (leader of the free world, a democracy, a fair and just society where the “lowliest” of people can achieve their greatest dreams, a beacon of hope, a role model to the rest of the world, to name just a few).

    If only those candidates who pander to the most extreme zealots who would rape and plunder the U.S. Constitution – not to mention human rights and global citizenry -with the insane and obscene claim it’s “for God’s sake” as we have with the right wing, or those who cater to the the wallets and whims of American corporations as we see with the most mainstream Democratic politicians including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the more moderate Republicans – who also brown nose the Christian fascists and the richest of the Americans – such as John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, individual American citizens lose BIG TIME. We see it, too, with the almost rabid minimalization and ostracization of Democrat John Edwards who commits the “heresy” of trying to bravely represent the needs and dreams of even poorer working class Americans rather than the corporate money machine of the Democratic Leadership Committee (DLC).

    We lose that which we claim to hold most dear when we allow a Dennis Kucinich or a John Edwards – or even a Ron Paul on the GOP side – to be forced out by those who use money and power and fear-mongering to transform our elections from being ABOUT the needs and dreams and votes of real American citizens and voters to what’s in the best interests of a General Electric, a Viacom, a Rupert Murdoch, a Halliburton, a Beatrice Foods, et al.

    Shame on the media… but shame on us, too.

    The South Carolina Debate: On Cat Fights, Media Madness, And Exclusions

    If I had to sum up my reaction to the South Carolina Democratic debate Monday night in just one sentence, I would paraphrase what contender John Edwards said, “Excuse me, there are three people in this debate, not TWO and with all this squabbling, how many kids will be able to get health care or go to college because of this meanness.”

    Not only did this become a Hillary-Barack slugfest with their behavior along with how debate host CNN’s Wolf Blitzer handled it, but the media after the fact seemed to ignore that Edwards was even present. Most of the clips of it shown offered no glimpse, much less a soundbyte, from the former North Carolina senator.

    The relatively few who DID notice Edwards was there, like Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown, noted that he came out as the soul of reason, the only one who realizes this isn’t about Hillary or Barack or even himself, but a nation filled with hurting people who can no longer afford their mortgages, their health insurance, or to be guaranteed a decent education for their kids. As Newsweek’s Howard Fineman pointed out with Keith, if Clinton-Obama fights like this continue for the next month, Edwards is almost guaranteed to come out ahead of both of them put together.

    Finally, the media was far more focused on the arguments between the woman candidate and the black candidate, making it sound like it was just wrong. As a pacifist and as someone who rarely feels she learns much from arguing, I’d agree. However, the media ONLY looks at Clinton and Obama and the fighting, giving almost NO attention to harsh words exchanged between Republican candidates or many of the lies the GOP runners tell about the Democrats as well as their own voting/business history. Given how the media presents this stuff, how can we possibly trust their overall analysis? Hell, they didn’t give Mike Huckabee this kind of heat when he came out a few times last week to declare that the U.S. Constitution must be completely rewritten to document the word and laws of His God – something that affects all of us a HELL of a lot more than whether Hillary and Barack love each other or engage in verbal smackdowns.

    And Fred Thompson is OUT!

    Not that his poor showing in Republican caucuses and primaries ever proved he was actually IN the race for GOP presidential nominee race for this November but…

    Let me say that using the “I need to stop to care for my ailing mother” statement is about as ridiculous as Karl Rove quitting the White House “to spend more time with my (Manson) family (of Bushies).” A) Fred is no spring chicken so mama’s got to be pretty old b) Fred doesn’t look like the bedpan-and-chicken-soup server type and c) well, I suppose Fred’s wife, who looks to be about the right age for one of his granddaughters, is not likely to want to spend all her time and designer wardrobe at mama’s house while Fred plays nursemaid (which he won’t).

    But that aside, Fred’s leaving the race poses an interesting situation. Of all the GOP candidates, I’d call him the only true conservative (McCain is only part of one, and Huckabee and Romney aren’t any part of one in the classic sense of the term). A lot of classical conservatives, I don’t believe, will vote for a Huckabee or Romney or Giuliani and have voiced discomfort with McCain in the past.

    Here’s another difference with Fred that I actually appreciated. Fred Thompson refused to play the religion card. He indicated early on that his relationship with his God was private, his business. I appreciate that; it’s how I feel about my faith, as well. People who don’t seem to be more likely NOT to force their God down the throats of others. Continue reading

    Huckabee: Change The U.S. Constitution To (My Version of) God’s Word

    Update: Here’s a strange note; the video has now magically disappeared from YouTube. Hmmmm….

    From Greg Mitchell’s personal blog (some may recognize his name, however, as editor at Editor and Publisher and columnist of Pressing Issues):

    Obama got heat today from Richard Cohen in The Washington Post because his pastor said some nice things about Louis Farrakhan. Former reverend Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, in Michigan yesterday called for amending the constitution to ban abortions and gay marriage, explaining, that “it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God — and that’s what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards.”

    A new video of alleged “radical cleric” Huckabee.