Saturday, November 11, 2006


Nancy Pelosi said before the elections that "impeachment is off the table." I would like to explore that for a minute.

As you all know, we have had two presidents impeached. Both impeachments were improper and neither resulted in conviction and remova.l Admittedly, Andrew Johnson was one of our worst presidents, but his impeachment was the result of radical Republican overreaching after the Civil War, and of course, the Clinton impeachment was a sordid attempt to derail, if not overturn, the election of a Democratic president based on trumped-up nonsense.

Let's consider the impeachment of not only a sitting president in theory, but THIS president. First of all, there is the gut-level emotional response that says this must be done. There is the lawyer's answer that it is nearly a constitutional mandate. After all, this president's course of conduct seems tailor-made for the definition of impeachable behavior
laid out by the Nixon-era Judiciary Committee. They traced the English origins of the quaint-sounding "high crimes and misdemeanors" and concluded that actionable

allegations of misconduct alleged damage to the state in such forms as misapplication of funds, abuse of official power, neglect of duty, encroachment on Parliament's perogatives, corruption, and betrayal of trust. Second, the phrase "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" was confined to parliamentary impeachments; it had no roots in the ordinary criminal law, and the particular allegations of misconduct under that heading were not necessarily limited to common law or statutory derelictions or crimes....Not all presidential misconduct is sufficient to constitute grounds for impeachment. There is a further requirement-- substantiality. In deciding whether this further requirement has been met, the facts must be considered as a whole in the context of the office, not in terms of separate or isolated events. Because impeachment of a President is a grave step for the nation, it is predicated only upon conduct seriously incompatible with either the constitutional form and principles of our government or the proper performance of constitutional duties of the presidential office.
Harm to the state and abuse of power seem like George Tenet's "slam dunk" in this case.

So--why not? There are many reasons put forth--

1) We're better than them;
2) We want reform, not revenge;
3) Two consecutive impeachments would suggest that it may be a tool for regularly overturning election results (ahem, Florida and Ohio, but that is another story for another time)
4) It's not good for the country, etc.

And then there is that huge canyon to jump, that damned Article I, Section 3:
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
We just don't have the numbers, and impeaching and losing just makes you look petty and bitter, no matter how right the cause.

SO--we convene hearings, we take evidence BY SUBPOENA under oath, we cooperate with aggressive U.S. attorneys to see that war profiteers and other miscreants do hard time. But before we leave impeachment behind--Ms. Pelosi said that impeaching THE PRESIDENT was off the table, but NOT the vice president. He's low-hanging fruit, no one likes him, they have SERIOUS evidence on him that goes way beyond policy (Valerie Plame, the energy "task force," etc.), he was never really elected to anything and dammit it would feel good.


Every limbo boy and girl, all around the limbo world

How LOW can you go? (link)

After the Democratic sweep of Congress, President Bush's approval reaches a new low.

The `Mind' of a Neocon

From Rush's dumber brother:
Many conservatives are telling themselves and others that Iraq didn't play a major role in the voters' decision to elect Democrats. They cite dubious exit polls to prove their point. But if we truly believe we are in a world war against global jihadists, that the major battlefield in the war is Iraq, and that Democrats, for all practical purposes, oppose our continued prosecution of the war there, then Iraq did us in because we didn't make the case. Democrats have succeeded in convincing enough people that Iraq is a costly diversion in the war and Republicans have failed to convince them otherwise.
IF you truly believe we are in a world war against global jihadists, that the major battlefield in the war is Iraq then you need to read an 8th-grade level book about the Middle East. There is no "war" against "global jihadists, no on both counts. It is not a "war," and there are no 'global jihadists.' Terrorists and terror calls--of course. Isolated fractured, competitive, antagonistic terrorists and cells with different and contradictory iseologies and objectives, but global jihadists? No. And of course, Iraq is a botched occupation rather than a `major battlefield' of any war other than a war to destroy the American republic and constitution.


The above is the title of my latest read, by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and David Corn of The Nation. It is nothing you didn't know in general, but to see the particulars laid out with the evidence is shocking and infuriating. One passage of note (p. 197), about post-war planning, where the White House completely disregarded a key report, is particularly maddening. The report as quoted by the book's authors noted that
`ethnic, tribal and religious schisms could produce civil war or fracture the state after Saddam is deposed,' that Iraq reconstruction would `require a considerable commitment of American resources.' and that `the longer U.S. presence is maintained, the more likely violent resistance will develop.' An occupation, the report said, would last for `an extended period of time' and the Iraqi population would be more suspicious of than grateful toward the United States. The study noted that the most likely development would be for political parties to emerge based on ethnic, tribal and religious identities, and free elections among ethnically based political parties could actually `increase divisions rather than mitigate them.' And worse, armed militias would likely be a problem. terrorists could be expected to engage in horrific acts, even suicide bombings, to alienate Iraqis from Americans.
The source of such wild-eyed radical nonsense? The U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute.

I'm sure you all were dying to know...

My day as an election judge

See Schmidlap's post for the more well-written story of his adventures:

The day dawned clear and bright…oh, wait, no it didn’t. Any day where I’m up at 3:30 am doesn’t “dawn,” and it was cloudy and misty all day. (It was the next day that was clear and bright.) There were four judges assigned to our precinct – two Democrats and two Republicans (by state law, you have to declare as a member of a party to be an election judge). I’d gotten a call from the other Democrat (call her Hillary – not her real name) the previous day telling me that she and the two Republicans (a husband and wife team – call them George and Laura) were going to set up as much as they could Monday at 5. I couldn’t join them, since I was still, you know, at work, but when I arrived at the precinct at 5 AM on Tuesday, everything short of the voting materials was set up, which certainly made the morning easier.

Hillary was waiting there at 5, which was good, since she had the key to the building – a church about a mile from my house (and yes, I spent a whole day in a church and failed to get smote even once). She and I carried the remaining materials – the ballots, the tabulator, etc. - into the building, but we couldn’t open them up without our compatriots from the other party. They showed up around 5:10, and we got everything up and ready by 5:45 or so. During the training, we had gone through how to do this, and the instruction cards were pretty straightforward. George wanted to just rush through everything, since he’d been a judge a number of times, but I took the direction sheet and we went through it step-by-step anyway. In our county, the ballots were all optical scan (fill in the bubbles), and were fed into a tabulator (essentially a Scan-tron machine, for those who know what they are). It would update the running count of ballots when one was inserted, and it would reject an overvote, so that the voter could get a new ballot and try again. Some people joked that it was a shredder, but nope – at the end of the day, all the ballots were there, ready to be kept as a paper record of the election. For voters who couldn’t fill the paper ballot out by hand for one reason or another, there was a Voter Assistance Terminal, which was a touch-screen machine that filled the ballot out for them. It could be set to have very large print, to read the ballot to the voter (through the accompanying headphones), to be controlled by a touchpad or with a paddle or puff tube, as on a motorized wheelchair. It was a pretty sweet device (although our first one didn’t work, and we had to get a replacement).

At 6 AM, the polls opened, and we had a few voters in line. There were four stations for judges, and by law we were required to rotate through them. We were actually one judge short of the optimal arrangement, but it worked out okay. Station 1 – greet the voters, have them fill out an “Application to Vote,” which was just a small form with their name, address, and signature. Station 2, which had to be staffed by one Democrat and one Republican, had the rolls of who was registered to vote in the precinct. We had to compare signatures, etc, with the records, and essentially approve the Application to Vote. Station 3 was giving the voters their ballot and explaining how to fill it out (fill in the bubbles next to the word Democrat…no, I’m kidding of course). Many voters complained that the new ballots were slower and harder to use than the punch-card ballots, but seemed to accept that it was better if they provided a more accurate count. Station 4 was at the ballot box, where we instructed the voters on how to insert their ballot and then gave them their “I Voted” sticker. Since we only had 4 people, and we had to have 2 at station 2, stations 3 & 4 were combined.

For the most part, the group of judges we had was a pretty good one. Hillary had done this before, but not in a few years, so she was a little rusty. George had been an election judge a lot, but Laura’s first election as a judge was the primary. George was also the most problematic of the judges (although nothing extreme). The two things he did that were the most obnoxious were early in the day, though, and it got better after that. We had two referenda on the ballot – one calling for withdrawal of troops from Iraq (which passed both Champaign and Urbana pretty handily) and one calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney (which lost in Champaign, but passed Urbana, and passed overall – not that it will do us any good). I’d learned at the election judge training that Republicans didn’t just disagree with these referenda, but thought it was absurd they were even on the ballot. So, early in the morning, George and one of his neighbors were joking about “those silly things on the back of the ballot”, and both his wife suggested that he needed to stop – everybody was going to have a different opinion. The other thing was when he was the one showing how to use the ballot box, he’d stand a little too close, which meant that he could see the ballots as they were being inserted. Laura told him that he needed to give the voters privacy, which he thought was a silly idea, but eventually, as the rest of us did, stepped back and looked away as the ballots were put into the tabulator. Of course, especially with elderly voters, sometimes you’d have to steady something, and I’m sure everyone saw a few votes, but overall, privacy was respected.

The day went pretty smoothly. We had a steady stream of voters in the morning, which slowed down a lot in the afternoon. Of the 260 or so people we had vote (roughly 20 an hour), I’d say the average age had to be 50+. It’s a slightly older, conservative district, but few of the younger people who were even registered actually voted. (There was the younger woman who wanted me to put her “I Voted” sticker on her, and thrust her chest out towards me, but that was an exception. I was good.) The only real problem we had was with the VAT, but that got replaced, and a few elderly voters found it useful. If they had trouble using it, we could show them how, in D/R pairs. One older guy announced all his votes out loud as he touched the screen. Of course, when he asked me if Jesse White “was that black guy,” I informed him that we weren’t allowed to comment on the candidates at all. (That was universally regarded by the other judges as the best possible answer.)

We had no spoiled ballots, no provisional ballots, only one Federal-Only ballot (someone who moved within the county but failed to re-register), and had to send a few people away to other precincts, but that was it. We had one visit from two officers from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, and the woman from the county clerk’s office who was overseeing our precinct kept telling us how smoothly we were running things. We had no real attempts at electioneering (the story from above was the closest it got), no pollwatchers, and no arguments with voters.

The afternoon got kind of boring, but wasn’t too bad. I was just really tired, so boring was bad. Changing stations every hour and a half or so helped. We got (including early and absentee votes) roughly 70% turnout for a midterm election, which was great. There was some discussion of politics between George and I when there were no voters around, but nothing extreme (I didn’t get into my belief that not only should Chimpy and Dead-Eye be impeached, but hung next to Saddam somewhere that crows would eat their eyes). At 6:30 pm, we started taking signs down, and at 7, the polls closed. The tabulator prints out a report, one which stays attached to the “zero report” from opening, and is the official count, another one which gets posted on the door of the polling place, and two others which can be given to pollwatchers (if any are around). We signed off on them, closed up shop, and brought everything back to the county HQ. I made it home by 8:15, and was a TV junkie the rest of the night.

I will likely do it again, although it will depend on what future elections hold. If Barack Obama runs for president, and gets the nomination, I’d be more likely to be working for his campaign than at the polls, for example, but it was worth doing. I think that most localities need more judges than they have, so if you are pondering the idea, I’d say go for it. And hell, it’s $90.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Paul Krugman re: Tuesday

(read it while it's free)

The Great Revulsion

Here’s what I wrote more than three years ago, in the introduction to my column collection “The Great Unraveling”: “I have a vision—maybe just a hope—of a great revulsion: a moment in which the American people look at what is happening, realize how their good will and patriotism have been abused, and put a stop to this drive to destroy much of what is best in our country.” At the time, the right was still celebrating the illusion of victory in Iraq, and the bizarre Bush personality cult was still in full flower. But now the great revulsion has arrived.

Tuesday’s election was a truly stunning victory for the Democrats. Candidates planning to caucus with the Democrats took 24 of the 33 Senate seats at stake this year, winning seven million more votes than Republicans. In House races, Democrats received about 53 percent of the two-party vote, giving them a margin more than twice as large as the 2.5-percentage-point lead that Mr. Bush claimed as a “mandate” two years ago — and the margin would have been even bigger if many Democrats hadn’t been running unopposed......

Two years ago, people were talking about permanent right-wing dominance of American politics. But since then the American people have gotten a clearer sense of what rule by movement conservatives means. They’ve seen the movement take us into an unnecessary war, and botch every aspect of that war. They’ve seen a great American city left to drown; they’ve seen corruption reach deep into our political process; they’ve seen the hypocrisy of those who lecture us on morality. And they just said no.

Smile, and the whole world smiles with you!

(Check out Uncle Dick---------- ^)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A couple of notes from fearless leader

QUESTION Thank you, Mr. President. Last week you told us that Secretary Rumsfeld will be staying on. Why is the timing right now for this, and how much does it have to do with the election results?

THE PRESIDENT: Right. No, you and Hunt and Keil came in the Oval Office, and Hunt asked me the question one week before the campaign, and basically it was, are you going to do something about Rumsfeld and the Vice President? And my answer was, they're going to stay on. And the reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer.
Translation--yes, I lied to suck up to my mouthbreathing base in a horrific miscalculation. and
I'm open to any idea or suggestion that will help us achieve our goals of defeating the terrorists and ensuring that Iraq's democratic government succeeds.
Right. I'll work with you if you share my delusions. Please.

Post-election, I briefly turn to..

My annual geekdom over one of college football's oldest rivalries...

Go Tigers!

Dumb Ass Hall of Fame -- Adam Polzin Wing

My last three rather pointed letters to the editor of the Chicago Tribune haven't made the cut, but Adam Polzin of Bloomingdale, Illinois got the editor's attention:


Now that Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to hang, I wonder when the ACLU is going to file a lawsuit to bar enforcement of the execution. After all the group never let the "A" in its title, which stands for "American," stop it from helping other non-deserving non-citizens. Also perhaps the Southern Poverty Law Center will label the Iraqi High Tribunal a "hate group" for singling out despot pariahs.

Let's start with a few facts: Saddam Hussein is neither a United States citizen nor a resident alien. Saddam Hussein was tried under Iraqi authority and Iraqi laws. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center are devoted to defending the rights of all persons who are subject to the constitution of the United States.

Hey Adam, as you

you might want to take this document with you and try reading it for meaning.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's all happening

AP is calling Virginia for Webb.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democrats will control both the House and Senate after Jim Webb won a Senate seat by about 7,200 votes in Virginia, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Webb will have a formal press conference Thursday morning to officially declare victory, an aide said.

A source close to Sen. George Allen says the Republican incumbent wants to make clear he "has no intention of dragging this out."

And that's the ballgame, folks.

The Dumbass Hall of Fame

Susan Petrarca of Lemont, Illinois, is a Charter Member of the dumbass corner, and today's missive merits a lifetime achievement award.

What a disaster

Not the election, although handing control of this country to unprincipled, truth-challenged, any-means, extremist Democrats just might be the death of us in more ways than you can imagine right now. No, the disaster was and is the media's complicity in the greatest hoodwink of all times. Wonder if you'll cover the coming debacle as well as you worked to create it.

Wake up, lil' Susie, wake up---and

Fun from BartCop

Mr. Grammar Person

One of the Republican talking points for years has always been to refer to "the DEMOCRAT party" rather than the DEMOCRATIC party. First of all, "Democrat" is a noun and not an adjective. beyond that though, it is a Frank Lunz -Newt Gingrich trick to 1) deny our approach is democratic and to 2) rhyme with "rat." Now of course the president wouldn't stoop to such a level, would he?
Yesterday, the people went to the polls and they cast their vote for a new direction in the House of Representatives. And while the ballots are still being counted in the Senate, it is clear the Democrat Party had a good night last night, and I congratulate them on their victories.
Oh, never mind.

Bye Katie..

[Note how happy hubby looks now that bat-crazy Katie will be hanging around the house!]

But there is good news, and I quote the Miami Herald--"She refused to rule out a future run for office."

Please do, Katie--I'm always looking for material.

What's left

According to CNN, there are still 11 House races too close to call.

To keep updated, check here. (Thanks TPM.)

Here they are (* means incumbent):

CT02 - Courtney (D) 121,321, Simmons* (R) 121,151 (170 difference)
GA12 - Barrow* (D) 69,991, Burns (R) 66,604 (3,387)
LA02 - will require a runoff, a Dem will win
NM01 - Wilson* (R) 101,305, Madrid (D) 100,257 (1,048)
NC08 - Hayes* (R) 60,506, Kissell (D) 60,048 (458)
OH02 - Schmidt* (R) 113,932, Wulsin (D) 111,609 (2,323)
OH15 - Pryce* (R) 119,208, Kilroy (D) 107,947 (11,261)
PA08 - Murphy (D) 125,667, Fitzpatrick* (R) 146,146 (1,521) - Called for Murphy
TX23 - I think there will be a runoff here too, still to close to call
WA08 - Reichert* (R) 61,921, Burner (D) 59,268 (2,653)
WY01 - Cubin* (R) 93,197, Trauner (D) 92,227 (970)

If these leads held, it would probably be 4 Dems 7 Reps, which would put the final House numbers at 232-203 Dems, a pickup of 29 seats.


Blue. 50-49, with Virginia still to come.

I am loving this.

Goodbye, "Evil Genius!"

and hello, poor ol' Turd Blossom. Hopefully this is the end of the Rove "mystique."


Separated at birth?

Buzz from "Home Alone"

and Montana's new senator-elect:

And the carnage continues

Breaking News:
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down, sources tell CNN.

Today's visit from Mr. Dictionary Man

Delusional [de-lu-sion-al]–adj Holding to a a false belief or opinion; holding to a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

For a good time, stop by some of the winger sites this morning, the Town Hall and Freeper crowd, the spin is priceless. You'll find gems like this from the loathsome Michael Medved:
Exit polling showed 59% of voters expressing “disapproval” or the Iraq war, but many (if not most) of those voters dislike Bush’s policy because they feel it’s not aggressive enough. Tens of millions of Americans long to see a more intense, more focused approach to crushing the insurgency, even if it means more boots on the ground.
Right. The voters rejected the Repubs convincingly because the GOP isn't war-y enough. No, Mike, we're not laughing with you, we are indeed laughing at you.

Winning is like, you know, better than losing

Man, this feels good.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Damn that geography!

City plans to let New Yorkers choose gender
Residents could alter birth certificates, but sex change optional

By Damien Cave

NEW YORK -- Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.

The city's Board of Health is considering a rule, which is likely to be adopted soon, that would allow people born in the city to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that the proposed change would be permanent.

Unfortunately for Ann, (s)he was born in Connecticut.

From today's spam

Here's a change of pace, from my junk inbox---

KEVIN FEDERLINE at House of Blues Chicago

(something tells me "supplies" will last for quite a while, especially now that his meal ticket filed for divorce.)

An Actual MSNBC Headline

Election results could decide Bush’s potency

The only question is--who would know the answer? Her?

or her?

or perhaps him?

An election day dumbass

Some things don't even need a comment..
The recent remarks of U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), made to a group of college students, warning them that substandard scholastic achievement would land them in Iraq, leaves me speechless. It is the most unkind, hateful thing one could do to the American troops. Is it possible that we voted for a person with such a mean-spirited nature into a position that has been so destructive to our military? He is shameful.

Nancy Fouke
Oh Nancy......

The best reason to vote Democratic--and a reminder


Der Chimpenfuhrer told us ""Therefore, no matter what your party affiliation or if you don't have a party affiliation, do your duty cast your ballot and let your voice be heard," Bush said.

I did my duty, Mr. Bush. Now please do yours, as you swore :
to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Today's visit from Mr. Dictionary Man

Moron [mor-on] (n) : A person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment; a person of borderline intelligence in a classification of mental retardation, having an intelligence quotient of 50 to 69.

When in doubt, blame golf. That's what former Vice President Dan Quayle did in assessing his political career. The one-time captain of DePauw University [Where? Never heard of the place?] golf team told that being a good golfer probably hurt him politically. Responding to a question that asked if it is important in politics to be a good golfer, Quayle said, "It's a handicap, actually, because I played golf all through college and played competitive golf and I'm a reasonable golfer without even picking up a club. And it hurt politically because everybody would say I was out golfing all day when I hadn't even played golf. Being a good golfer is a liability in politics." (link)

No, Dan. No one ever thought you were out playing golf all day. They thought you were out being A MORON all day. Golfing ability isn't a handicap in politics--stupidity is.

These guys want you to vote...

A good end to the countdown..

Voting in days of yore

Back in grad school, we had an office right across the hall from a water fountain. Someone put up a sign over the water fountain, imploring people not to, say, pour coffee grounds in, since the drain couldn't handle it. We thought (since we were big damned geeks) it would be funny to replace the sign with other, either more or less appropriate signs, that otherwise looked exactly the same (which took longer than it should have). The one I remember most clearly was from Election Day 1996:

Please Do Not Vote In Water Fountain.

Ed. But Please Vote Today.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More from the freak show.

Scroll down below. Here is an except from the biography of the "Involuntararily Committed Psychotics" party's "candidate" for lieutenant governor:
My first child was born in September of 1978, and I was given the joy of having the most love I had ever experienced in my life as I took my baby daughter from the arms of her mother for the first time. This small child alone quieted down my wilder side from my youth. In 1980 my pride and joy, Randy Jr., was born and somewhere in there I knew in my heart I had to become a better person so my son would have a father who set a good example. Even so, I did not remain consistent in my faith, and faltered many times in my walk as a Christian.

Yeah, never mind that first child, she's just...a girl, nothing compared to his "pride and joy."

Comic relief

If you think the mainstream candidates for Illinois governor are less than exciting, you aren't thrilled with the Greens and you also need a damned good laugh, check out this whackjob running for the Executive Mansion as a write-in candidate:

Take a look at this freak show:


We also have a photo of their candidate for comptroller:

Makin' Progress....

"It's horrible," [NBC reporter Richard] Engel says. "I've seen hundreds of dead bodies -- rotting bodies, bodies buried in shallow graves. One time I watched a dog carry a severed human head in its mouth. You're smelling bodies, you're seeing people who are so angry and insanely distraught. The people who are being killed are too old, too stupid, too poor, too young or too weak, socially or otherwise, to leave." (WP story)

From Howard Dean

The Democratic Party
Dear Eric,

There's one thing everyone who wants Democrats to win tomorrow needs to remember: be prepared for anything. We offer a fresh start and a new direction, but each and every Democrat must get to the polls to make our vision a reality.

Reports of voter suppression and potentially illegal tactics have already begun surfacing in districts where Republicans seem to be heading for defeat. That's why it's so important that you vote. From repeatedly harassing phone calls to disgusting flyers sent to Hispanic voters, they're trying everything they can to keep Democrats from voting.

No matter what the other side does to try to keep Democrats at home, we have to continue our person-to-person outreach for this final stretch. Our democracy can withstand these tactics if every one of us lives up to our responsibility to engage our neighbors in this movement to take America in a new direction.

We've put together the resources you need to spread the Democratic message and reach as many people as possible. Here are just a few of those resources:

Find Your Polling Place
In addition to allowing people to report election irregularities, the 1-888-DEM-VOTE number also provides your polling place. You can call, or find your state's polling information here:

Last-Minute Volunteers
The best way to volunteer at the last minute is to call your local Democratic Party:

Print Your Own Flyers
The Democratic Agenda:
Voter Protection Info:

One look at those flyers will remind you what we're fighting for in this election.

What do the Republicans offer us? Spiraling costs in both human and monetary terms with no accountability and no plan in sight for Iraq, more people working full-time just to live in poverty because the minimum wage hasn't changed in a decade, and more people suffering in silence because, just like 45 million others, they don't have health insurance.

The vast majority of Americans have had enough. That's why the Republicans have resorted to doing anything they can to distract or deceive voters.

But we Democrats have our own plans, which couldn't be clearer:

Honest Leadership & Open Government
We will end the Republican culture of corruption and restore a government as good as the people it serves.

Real Security & A New Direction in Iraq
We will protect Americans at home and lead the world by telling the truth to our troops, our citizens and our allies, and we will heed the advice of our commanders on the ground and force a change in the failed Republican strategy in Iraq.

Energy Independence & Lower Gas Prices
We will create a cleaner, greener and stronger America by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, eliminating billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and developing energy alternatives.

More Jobs, Better Pay & College Access for Everyone
We will create jobs that stay in America, raise the minimum wage, and open the doors to college for every American.

Healthcare that Works for Everyone & Life-Saving Cures
We will join 36 other industrialized nations in making sure everyone has access to affordable health care, and we will make decisions to invest in stem cell and other medical research based on science, not politics.

Retirement Security
We will ensure that a retirement with dignity is the right and expectation of every single American, starting with protecting workers' pensions expanding saving incentives and preventing the privatization of social security.

I can't stress enough how important these final hours are -- and because of the Republican voter suppression tactics, every one of us will need to do even more.

If you or someone you know has any trouble voting or is harassed in any way, please take down as many details as possible and report it. You can report any voter suppression or election irregularities by calling 1-888-DEM-VOTE. You can also report problems online here:

You'll hear a lot of predictions over the next day or so, but ignore both the good ones and the bad ones. We're got to work, work and work some more until this election is over. There is no other option -- we've all done too much for too long to let this slip away.

The only poll that matters will be on Election Day and it will signal a new direction for America.

Thank you.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

There's still time to help

I know a number of folks here are doing their part tomorrow to help get the GOP out of power. If you're not, consider it. If you can, take the day off work and do anything to help get out the vote, so you won't be left wondering on Wednesday what more you could have done. Campaigns all over the country still need help - making calls to remind people to vote, driving the elderly to the polls, being a poll watcher, preventing the GOP from pulling dirty tricks on voters - anything you can do to help is welcome. Even if it's only a couple of hours after work, do it.

Do More Than Vote

Final Predictions

Turd Blossom, Chimpy, and Dead-Eye have been roaming the country for the last few weeks acting as if the election was in the bag for the GOP, and generally acting way too optimistically for people with their record. On the other hand, they have a point - as Ray Bradbury said before he went insane, "Optimism is an excuse to behave optimally." So, full of reckless optimism (I hate cautious optimism) and mind-boggling hatred of what the GOP has done to my country, here's what I'm calling for tomorrow:

Senate: 60-40

House: 435-0

(Really, I'm going to go 50-50, with Lieberman eventually defecting, and 237-198.)

What if?

As Pete suggested below, today the most prominent feeling among Democrats is probably uneasiness - will this election, which by all rights should be an epic landslide, be yet another disaster? As a friend of mine (also, coincidentally, named Pete) said in an email today "I'm realizing my real fear isn't that the GOP will steal the election (outright, that is, such as through voting machines), but that the American public is actually dumb enough to vote for them yet again." That's the tougher one. I can fight against corruption, and attack the powerful. Changing the minds of the masses is much harder - if the last six years don't scare the living crap out of them, what will it take?


Tomorrow's going to be a weird day. I've been an election night TV junkie as long as I can remember, looking for the newest results as soon as they came in. Tomorrow, at the best, I'll miss the first hour of results from the east, since their polls close an hour earlier than ours, and probably more than that, unless there's a TV or something in the polling place. Someone out there better be keeping track of things and making sure the results are right.

That's me in the yellow shirt..

Why am I getting an eerie feeling about this.. ?

I won't be up for a 3 AM countdown..

But with 3 hours before the polls open, don't forget Good Ol' No. 1/8:

You'll flip for this countdown!


If You Cast Only Two Votes...

The title of this blog entry is also the title of the Chicago Tribune's lead editorial this morning. In it the editorial board urges voters here in Illinois (and specifically in Cook County) to cast ballots for Judy Baar Topinka and Tony Peraica. As several of my fellow progressives have mentioned, there is little love in this blog for Rod Blagojevich and Todd Stroger, and it would not be the end of the world if Topinka and Peraica won their races for the chief executive offices in the state of Illinois and Cook County respectively. Topinka is a social moderate and a fiscal conservative, and while she is a member of the Rethugs, and was the head of the IL GOP two years ago, she lobbied hard against Alan Keyes being placed on the ballot, and conspicuously DIDN'T campaign with or for him against Barack Obama. Tony Peraica is a much less socially moderate candidate than Topinka, but he has little-to-no power to change social policy. However, he figures to have enough authority to cleanse county government of the pathological corruption engendered and enabled by Cook County democrats. In this way, he runs closest to Forrest Claypool, the man who SHOULD have won the primary last Spring, and who should have been cruising to victory tomorrow.
So I have no real argument with either of these votes.

But I do have an argument with the hypocritical way in which the Tribune reaches this conclusion. At the local level, they tell voters to ask themselves who will most efficiently care for those most vulnerable. Then they ask who will best use tax dollars to serve the public trust instead of handing out rewards to crooks and cronies. But at the national level, they led the cheers for the McLiar/Vader junta, stating that the phony War on Turr (tm) trumps every other consideration - including trampling the constitution, turning the USA into an international pariah, needlessly putting our nation's armed forces in the line of fire, spending our children's inheritance, rewarding incompetent politically connected individuals with positions of power, and enriching a select few companies and cronies with billions of unearned (and unaccounted for) dollars. As venial as the Blagojevichs and the Strogers of the political world are, they don't have the blood of thousands of soldiers on their hands, nor have they irresponsibly published the plans for building an atomic weapon in Arabic, making it easier for well-financed nut cases in the jihadist camp to attack us and our interests.

So, I have a different request of those of you and those two votes. Please cast your first ballot for the Democrat running for the House of Representatives in your district. The House is where all appropriations bills begin, and we have six years of experience to tell us that a GOP-controlled congress will NEVER rein in spending, a GOP controlled congress will never investigate corruption, malfeasance, or incompetence within the executive branch, a GOP controlled congress will not stand up and stop funding the Iraq debacle.
With your second vote, if you live in a state with an open senate seat, please vote for the Democrat. Please help to restore a measure of sanity to an insane administration. Please look at what the next two years figures to bring under GOP control. Is staying the course an appetizing option?

Repudiate the politics of fear-mongering, hate and callous disregard for America's international standing. Help vote the GOP out of power in the congress and let's begin to shine a light on the political process NATIONALLY.

Open road, my left foot

I spent some time up in the city this weekend and learned, once again, that I would have voted against Rod Blagoyevich if only for his delusional "open road tolling". If you don't have an IPass, you're a second-class citizen who the state doesn't give a damn about. We sat (for those who understand this) in a backup for the River Road toll for over an hour, at 8:00 on a Saturday night, when no other expressways were backed up at all, and all toll lanes were open. I can only imagine how awful that is during rush hour. Rod to tourists, out of towners, or anyone who doesn't have the initial $50 to get the IPass unit - "Go fuck yourselves, Chicago doesn't want you." Brilliant plan.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Damn that liberal media!

MSNBC has a story showing that all the hot Senate races are extremely close, with the "leads" within margins of errors. The ever-so-objective headline?

Polls see Republicans keeping Senate control


So how NOT surprised are you?

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's High Tribunal on Sunday found Saddam Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to hang for the 1982 killing of 148 Shiites in the city of Dujail. The visibly shaken former leader shouted "God is great!" more

A countdown with horsepower!