Saturday, April 28, 2007

Must be getting famous

We have a Wikipedia page!

Thinking or Sitting ([]) is a political blog created by Peter Rasmussen. The content is left of center politics, presented both in serious commentary and often crass humor. Peter's partners (names unknown, but they contribute under such names as DocMagoo, ZinfandelFan and Rousing Rabble) appear to be lawyers and college professors. In a regular feature, Peter picks out absurd letters to the editor in the Chicago Tribune to mock, finishing with a graphic showing someone sitting in the corner with a duncecap, and the slogan, "Go sit in the corner, *******."

The site has been in existence for approximately two years, and attracts thousands of visitors per week. Legal analysis and historical and constitutional discussion is a frequent feature of the blog. The blog has been mentioned on the Stephanie Miller radio show, and is listed as one of twelve recommended liberal and progressive blogs by WCPT radio, Chicago (

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Well, they've done it

Both houses of Congress have now passed a bill that would end the war in Iraq next year. It's far from a perfect bill, but it would be a major step forward. As Senator Barack Obama said today, "We are one signature away from ending the Iraq War."

Of course, we won't get that signature. We'll have to see what the next step is, but at the very least, the Democratic Party has now stood up and done what the American people have been asking for.

Four Years

Tuesday, May 1 will be the fourth anniversary of Chimpy McFlightsuit saying "Major combat operations have ended." Take a look back at what we heard from the right in those first heady days of Bush's glorious war.

When we lost the war

There has been a fury of writing lately (mostly in neocon land, some in SCLM land) about how awful it was that Senator Harry Reid said that we'd lost the war in Iraq. A number of Democrats, as well, have been trying to backpedal from what Reid said (without trying to look like they were backpedaling, of course). Reid was right, of course, but there's something he missed in his statement - when the war was lost.

We lost the day we invaded. The second the first soldier's foot touched down on Iraqi soil, the war was lost, irrevocably and forever. There was never anything that anyone could have done to turn that instantaneous defeat into victory. We invaded a country based on lies, a country which had not attacked us (and could not have done so, even if there were any indications that it had intention to), and diverted our attention from the real enemies - the terrorists who had actually attacked us and the governments and financial enterprises which made their attacks possible. No "success" could erase the stain of what our country did in the name of fear, hate, ignorance, and greed. No false argument about freedom and democracy can hide the facts. We have killed many, many people and ruined the lives of countless others, people from all over the world, based on lies. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars, money which hurts our nation's power worldwide and money which could have been used to make the lives of millions of people better, based on fear and hate.

We lost the day the war began. Every day since then (and for decades to come), we have been serving our punishment.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Response from Senator Durbin

Senator Dick Durbin's response to the email about impeachment I sent to his office a few days ago:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the actions of the Bush
Administration and proposals to impeach President Bush and Vice
President Cheney. I appreciate knowing your views on these matters.

Removal of the President, Vice President or other federal officials by
impeachment is one of the most serious constitutional responsibilities
delegated to the Congress. Impeachment procedures are used very
infrequently. This legislative mechanism has been reserved for
carefully investigating and trying allegations of serious misconduct on
the part of the President, the Vice President and civil officers of the
United States. The House of Representatives has the Constitutional
authority to determine whether to impeach and to draft articles of
impeachment. Should the House vote to impeach an official and specify
the grounds upon which impeachment is based, the matter is then
presented to the Senate for trial.

I am troubled by many of the actions of this Administration. The
American people are also concerned, as demonstrated by the mid-term
elections. The new leadership in Congress is working for a new
direction for our nation while reinstituting the Congressional oversight
of the Executive Branch that has been sadly missing in recent years.

I will keep your views in mind as the fact-finding continues. Thank you
again for sharing your views. Please feel free to contact me again with
any concerns you wish to share.

Ya sas!

Hello from Greece! I am typing this from a cafe with a view of the Acropolis.

What do other countries think of us? Here is an excerpt from an Athenian newspaper:
All of this changed with President George W. Bush. Suddenly all the reactionary, dark instincts of “Middle America” came to the fore. The arch-conservative evangelical Christians began to determine the superpower’s foreign policy. America the extrovert with its pop culture became frightened, wary, almost paranoid. September 11, which brought an outpouring of sympathy from the world, proved to be the start of an unbelievable and silly “crusade” with tragic results in Iraq. Osama could not have expected a better outcome, as Bush undertook al-Qaida’s recruitment campaign.

Everything indicates that the average American understands the dark path it entered seven years ago. The next president will have to turn to realpolitik. But Bush has caused irreparable damage. History will be merciless with him, because, for no reason, he set fire to the planet’s most crucial region, because he isolated America and because, in the end, he brought Osama bin Laden into every last hovel in the Islamic world. Who said history is not determined by personalities?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A dare for you

Try to read this article and remember that it's 2007.

ASHBURN, Georgia (CNN) -- Students of Turner County High School started what they hope will become a new tradition: Black and white students attended the prom together for the first time on Saturday.

In previous years, parents had organized private, segregated dances for students of the school in rural Ashburn, Georgia, 160 miles south of Atlanta.

Adkinson's sister, Mindy Bryan, attended a segregated prom in 2001.

"There was not anybody that I can remember that was black," she said. "The white people have theirs, and the black people have theirs. It's nothing racial at all."

Another tradition that ended this year -- having two separate homecoming queens.

In the past, two queens were chosen -- one white, one black.

But not everyone in the town of 4,400, famous for its peanuts and Fire Ant Festival, was breaking with the past.

The "white prom" still went on last week.

"We did everything like a regular prom just because we had already booked it," said, Cheryl Nichols, 18, who attended the dance.

Nichols said while her parents were in support of the integrated prom, some of her friends weren't allowed to go.

"If they're not coming tonight it's because either they had to work and they couldn't get out of it or because their parents are still having an issue because they grew up in south Georgia," she said.

"I've asked, 'Why can't you come?' and they're like, 'My mommy and daddy -- they don't agree with being with the colored people,' which I think is crazy," she said.

Well, it is a true statement

"The president's record on climate change is very strong, [White House spokeswoman Dana] Perino said.

Yes, yes it is. Just like, say, Dan Quayle's record on spelling, George Wallace's record on civil rights, the Chicago Cubs record on winning the World Series, or Dick Cheney's record on, well, anything. Strongly negative is still strong, right?

Monday, April 23, 2007

He who must be impeached

I've been planning a post on the stunning idiocy expressed by some on the right in the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, but there's another topic that just won't let me ignore it.

George W. Bush, Oct. 15, 2001: "Let me say a few words about important values we must demonstrate while all of us serve in government. First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourself not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity."

In a statement today, Chimpy said this of his Attorney General, Torture Boy: "As the hearings went forward, it was clear the attorney general broke no law, there's no wrongdoing."

This echoes comments Mr. "The Geneva Conventions are Quaint" made during his pathetic appearance before Congress last week, when he too argued that he hadn't broken the law, so nothing he did was improper.

With all due respect, Mr. President and Mr. Attorney General (and you can be sure that I bear none for either one), perhaps no statement sums up your contempt for this country more than that one. I mean, it's a huge step forward that you even acknowledge that there are laws, and you conceivably could break them, but are you really trying to tell us that as long as what you have done isn't illegal, it can't be improper? That it isn't beneath the dignity of your offices? That's an awfully low standard to hold onesself to, much less the people charged with serving this nation in such important positions.

Chimpy, you may remember, famously joked that he was the C student who became president. Now, he was a C student at schools that give students A's for showing up sometimes, which should tell you something, and I think that his teachers were far too generous. This president is not a man who wants excellence or who wants to meet a high standard. He thinks that if if a person meets the minimum possible requirements to remain in office, then that's good enough. Actually, it's enough to have "increased his confidence" in Gonzalez.

After the election, I distanced myself from politics for a while because I couldn't take it anymore. But the more I see, the more it pulls me back in. There are no words to describe the contempt I hold for the man who currently serves as the president of my country, nor for the men and women who work for him and enable him to spend every day as an incompetent, ignorant, lying simulacrum of a human being, insulting every day what I, and hundreds of millions of others, hold sacred. He is a man who cheats and lies and kills, not for greatness, but for a D-.

Frankly, he's not that good. I have spent a long time arguing that now is not the time for impeachment, that it's more important to govern and marginalize our incurious president. But he's made it clear that he will not go gentle into that good night, no, instead he will whine and pout. He will claim victory when everyone else sees defeat. He will hold his employees to the lowest possible standard, and cheer them when they fail pathetically and publically.

Mr. President, you have failed in every way at your job. We must fire you. For the good of the country, for the good of Iraq, for the good of the world, for the future of every person living or not yet born. You, and Darth, and Torture Boy, and Ms "No one could have anticipated an attack on the towers", and the rest of them. You must do the only possible thing you could do to make the world a better place and go away.


I will be sending slightly modified versions of this to my senators and congressman.