A Foundering Campaign Is Not Pretty To Behold

Let me begin with my standard disclosure that I support Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination.

Dana Milbank wrote an article (Team Clinton: Down, and Out of Touch) in today’s Washington Post which casts the Clinton team in a very harsh light. Milbank was present at a recent confab between the Clinton campaign and the Washington Press corps. The description Milbank gives of this event can only be described as acerbic for the Clinton campaign.

First came Harold Ickes, who gave a presentation about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s prospects that severed all ties with reality. “We’re on the way to locking this nomination down,” he said of a candidate who appears, if anything, headed in the other direction.

Ickes comes across sounding like Baghdad Bob, giving tours on the street and insisting that the Americans had been beaten back from the city, even as American tanks rumbled along in the background. There are some jobs, like White House Press Secretary or spokesperson for a floundering national campaign, which demand that the job holder be willfully ignorant or even openly defiant in the face of the true state of affairs. Ickes’ claim that the Clinton campaign is on the path to locking down the nomination would be given top billing in the spokesperson make believe hall of fame if his delusion were given wider publicity… and there were actually a spokesperson make believe hall of fame… Continue reading

McCain’s Funky Dance With Your Tax Dollars

One of the stories that came out last week at the same time we heard that GOP presidential candidate John McCain may have been playing fast and loose with a female lobbyist during his 2000 bid for the Republican nomination is actually a more important story (unless, as I think may be actually the case, McCain DID abuse his authority and connections in the Senate/with the FCC to do favors for Ms. Iseman).

When McCain’s campaign was struggling, he put his hand out, as candidates can do, to ask for federal matching dollars to help fund his ailing warchest. That’s not just mad money; that matching money comes from us as taxpayers.

NOW, however, that McCain has had the use of the money to guarantee the financial viability of his campaign, he wants to IGNORE the limits on spending he agreed to in accepting the federal matching dollars. It’s not like the limitation was an unknown to McCain; it’s a big drawback for politicians to accept such matching money because it puts certain reins on how much you can spend on your campaign (and why corporations are there to offer bigger, better money to them instead).

Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee are expected to swear out a full complaint on McCain’s sudden change of heart. But the problem goes beyond Democrats and Republicans and mere campaign chicanery: McCain wants us to believe he’s the conscientious vanguard of the people’s trust YET he comes from the Keating Five/Savings and Loan debacle where he abused his power, he’s played fast and loose and abusive on many other matters, and now he’s taken the people’s money and rewritten the rules by which he can use that money.

For someone who thinks he himself is a saint, someone above reproach, McCain’s carrying a lot of stinky baggage. I can’t imagine why anyone would vote for him because, at the end of the day, to speak volumes about Ethics and Responsibility when you don’t hold yourself to those standards is called HYPOCRISY, no matter which party’s lapel pin you wear.

Time For My Semi-Annual Nader Rant

Ralph Nader is going to appear on Meet The Press on Sunday and there is widespread speculation that he will announce another ill fated run for the Presidency.

As you read this post you will no doubt sense a certain loathing on my part for Nader. The cause for this loathing stems from the fact that I used to really admire Nader. He was a champion for the little guy and a reliable gauge on the issues which he cared about. He was a lion for the left and I looked up to him. Then he decided to take on the two party system by inflicting a grievous wound on the Democratic party. In purporting to champion a multi party democratic system Nader assisted in bringing us the one party oligarchy rule of Republicans under the leadership of Bush. So Nader did help to bring an end to the two party system for a time but he did great harm to the nation in doing so. Continue reading

The Partisan Pundits Just Won’t Stop Telling The Dems Whom To Run For November

Granted, Obama did well in this weekend’s voting which has sent Hillary Clinton scrambling for more than an apology for MSNBC’s David Shuster using the phrase “pimping out” in relation to daughter Chelsea (namely, she’s done a staff change). But damn it.

Once more, the Republican Party figures it’s the right one to choose WHO the Democratic presidential challenger in November must be. Meanwhile, idiots who tend to get this stuff very wrong – and with someone like CNN’s Bill Schneider rarely noted for the sake of fairness to be a major Republican type/American Enterprise Institute “fellow” when providing “non-partisan” analysis – insist that Barack has to be the candidate because John McCain and Hillary Clinton will tie each other up.

Actually, the most “sickly” pleasant thing about all this is how many Republican strategists, at the same time they LOVE rallying their all-too-base base, are sweating whether they should attack the white woman or the black man as hard as they want given how it will look.

Good News!

For having endorsed John McCain, Joe Lieberman has been stripped of his status as a “super delegate” by the Democratic party.

Lieberman had his vote taken from him under the “Zell Miller” rule, which was enacted after Miller, who was a sitting Democratic Senator, gave a speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention attacking John Kerry.

What are the chances of Joe Lieberman being offered the podium at the Repubican National Convention, and his using the occasion to savage the Democratic nominee. If that were to happen would he finally be drummed out of the Democratic Senate caucus? I doubt Democrats are going to need that all important single vote to break the tie on Senate leadership after the 08 election. Maybe Lieberman losing the super delegate vote is the first move with the Democratic party officially divesting him of any status in the party whatsoever.

As The Rightmost Republicans Shat Themselves

It’s almost enough to make you like John McCain. ALMOST.

The way fat druggy slimelord Rush Limbaugh keeps after McCain and Ann Coulter threatens to vote for Hillary Clinton over McCain AND, the latest, the Reverend (from the Church of Hate and Eternally Despised BY God) James Dobson saying that if McCain wins today in Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, it will be “an abomination” and keep him – and his ilk – from bothering to vote in November. (So stay the eff home, Jimmy – we don’t need any more of your poison in the pool.)

But, of course, this rhetoric doesn’t cover the fact that McCain’s solution for everything is “fight” and “more troops on the ground”, or that McCain was part of the Keating Five and the Savings & Loan debacle, and is a deeply troubled, perhaps even psychopathic man whose “personal struggle for nobility” could destroy the country. And, if it’s not apparent, might take us into more wars than Bush, who – as the famed bumper sticker so aptly states – “at least had an exit strategy for (his fighting in) Vietnam.” If that’s not enough (God help us!), just remember all his hugging and kissing and support of Bush.

Debunking Myths: Part Two, John McCain As Ultra Liberal

Having already talked about the “myth” of Bill Clinton returning to the White House as commander-in-chief, let me go after the new myth: John McCain as dangerous extremist liberal (my God, this rings as so very false I had trouble a) typing it and b) seeing what I was typing because I was so caught up with hysterical laughter).

On the heels of McCain’s recent wins in primaries and endorsements from Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger, those who don’t want McCain – specifically, extremist Republicans or GOP-sympathizers – to get the Republican nomination for November’s presidential race are claiming that McCain is really a Democrat plant, a wild-eyed liberal who will ruin our country, and that voters in hardly liberal states like New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina who voted to win McCain their primaries/caucuses constitute a new “axis of evil.” This comes from many sources, among them Human Events (whose site I will not grace with a link, tyvm).

But the nutsos go farther, calling McCain an engineer determined to break apart the Republican Party (gee, this sounds like what they said about Pat Buchanan about six seconds before everyone forgot who Buchanan was) and end the American way of life as we know it.

McCain? A liberal? Well, perhaps a liberal compared to uh… um… Hitler or Attila the Hun perhaps. But McCain’s about as progressive as Ronald Reagan now that the latter is dead.

Now, I’d hate to see McCain elected – as is true for most liberals and progressives, I am certain – but defeat him for the right reasons, and not scurrilous, ridiculous lies about his “extremist liberal ideology” or his supposed “black love baby.” If you have to try to get your candidate to win based solely on lies, then there’s something desperately wrong with your candidate (true for every damned one of the GOP contenders with the possible exception of Ron Paul, who ain’t perfect, but considering the company he keeps… well….).

Let Us Remember Another S.C. Primary Winner

Bill Clinton responded to a question about why Senator Obama is having to run against two Clintons by invoking Jesse Jackson’s primary victory’s in South Carolina.

Clinton swears that was not an attempt to inject racial politics into the debate… and even though I am an Obama supporter, I may agree with Bill on this one.  Because considering one previous South Carolina primary winner in particular is cause for believing that Obama is on the march to the White House: Governor Clinton carried the state in the 1992 primary. But sadly, considering that Bill has been widely labeled as the 1st black President, maybe invoking past S.C. primary winners actually does raise racial questions.

Shucks! There goes my illogical attempt to justify President Clinton’s oddly out of context ‘Jackson won S.C. too’ answer. Continue reading

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.

I’m O Believer

What I’m about to say may hardly seem to be the definition of cogent, trailblazing blogger thoughtfulness:  I held out for most of last fall hoping Al Gore would enter the race, and then when it became evident that it was getting too late I hemmed and hawed about who I favored in the race to the Democratic nomination.  So now that Obama has made it easy to support him by altering the fundamentals of the political universe I once thought I knew… let me give him the much coveted (SCOFF!!) bhfrik endorsement.

See, waiting ’til now to endorse Obama really does ring hollow does it not? I could have done it when Obama was 20 points behind Clinton in Iowa and 40 points back in the national polls, and looked prescient now. I could have done that when all the major Democratic party hacks were endorsing Clinton and crowning her the nominee months before the first vote was cast, and just think about how much more impressive I would look now. Continue reading

Here I Go Defending Hillary Again…

Folks, I don’t want to use All Things Democrat in order to start flogging for Hillary Clinton at this point.  Despite the fact that I’ve found myself warming to her and defended her a lot in the recent past, I am still undecided on who to support in the primary.  

So, in the interest of not turning ATD into my personal pro Hillary megaphone,  if anyone wants to read my defense of Hillary’s response to the drivers license for illegal immigrants question, here’s the link

Hillary Keeps On Keeping On, Is Obama Arabic For Dukakis?

Before I start this ramble, let me say that I have not yet picked a favorite in the Democratic nomination. Recent events have me leaning for Senator Clinton, but I’m not all the way there yet by a long shot.

Marc Ambinder blogs for The Atlantic, and today he posted about an aspect of the horserace which casts Senator Clinton in a positive light.

Another two weeks, another impressive navigation through ever-trickier waters. Hillary Rodham Clinton now has nine serious opponents — four on the Democratic side (only Bill Richardson isn’t making a compelling case against her right now) and five on the Republican side (counting Mike Huckabee).

Continue reading

The Republicans Budgetary Dichotomy

Here’s my take on the issue Ralph posted on:  Republicans not making much sense on SCHIP.

President Bush has vetoed the SCHIP bill which would have given medical insurance to the children of families who are too wealthy to qualify for medicare, but too poor to get their own insurance. The cost of the bill, $35 billion over 5 years, would be funded by raising federal taxes on cigarettes. The program would bring insurance to 4 million children who currently are not covered.

There are several reasons given by the President for the veto, but the one that captures my attention is his stated objection to the cost of the program. Again, the additional spending for the expanded program was funded by increasing taxes on cigarettes, so this was is not an unfunded program just adding more to the national debt. Continue reading

So Freaking Predictable: A Rant On ‘Clinton Did It Too’

Who didn’t see this coming? It is so predictable. When President Bush pulls a stunt which goes against every principle he’s ever stood for and the entire nation (besides the inevitable right wing koolaid crowd) hoots and hollers in unified derision, the inevitable refrain from the Bush toadies is Clinton did it too.

I just want to scream when I hear some Democratic talking head sputter and stutter over the latest Clinton did it talking point.  Listen up Dem talking heads.  The standard line you can expect is that Clinton did it too so prepare thyself.   The response we should be hearing to this illogic is that Clinton did not do anything remotely similar to Bush’s pardon of Scooter Libby. If Clinton had actually pardoned a member of his administration who had lied to a grand jury in order to cover the tracks of the Vice President and/or Clinton himself, the Republicans would have formed a lynchmob. Continue reading

Remember “We’re Fighting ‘Em There So We Won’t Have To Fight ‘Em Here”?

OK, if this so-oft muttered Bush line is so true, why is Great Britain shaking in its Cool Brittania boxer shorts over car bombs and threats while federal marshals are getting packed onto U.S. flights in record numbers?

First, the Bush line always has been and will be one of his thousands of damned lies. It bares as much relation to fact as Rupert Murdoch’s tax returns. (Amazing how his huge corporations paid NO taxes at all for the last few years, eh?)

Second, however, expect to hear the word “terror” uttered in every other sentence as we draw closer to the 2008 presidential election season. After all, the Republicans apparently cannot operate a campaign without trying to scare the cheese doodles out of the public.

The Democratic Legacy: Harry Truman-The Welfare of the Whole People Should Come First

In late October 1948, Harry Truman’s Whistle-Stop Campaign wound its way back to Truman’s home in Independence, Missouri. One major speech remained, a speech that would prove the most unprecedented move in an unprecedented campaign, becoming one of the great speeches in American politics and a yardstick for today’s candidates. Continue reading

What’s The Only Thing Worse Than One Thompson Running For President?

The answer? When we have two so-terribly-self-important Thompsons running for the GOP nomination for president in 2008.

First, there’s the silky-as-concrete Tommy Thompson and now, Fred Thompson, the man who always plays on TV and in movies the same smug, nasty, I’m important, that’s why he did in the Senate.

And did you know ol’ “Law and Order” Fred was a major player in the Scooter Libby/PlameGate defense fund? He also insists Libby MUST be pardoned for the country’s sake.

After all, it’s not really illegal, unethical, or criminally treasonous to “out” a covert CIA operative in a time of war when Valerie Plame was sometimes about all that stood between us and “real” weapons of mass destruction (WMD).