Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The DNC's Master Plan

Hmmm...It looks like the Dems may actually have a plan should they win either the house or the senate and its kind of ingenious in its simplicity; Propose poular legislation and then let the Republicans paint themselves as the bad guys by shooting it down and thereby cinching a Dem win in 08.

From the WaPo:

In the House, the Democrats have made clear that there's a first tier of legislation they mean to bring to a vote almost immediately after the new Congress convenes. It includes raising the minimum wage, repealing the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, replenishing student loan programs, funding stem cell research and implementing those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished.

All these measures command massive popular support. The reason they've not been enacted is that House Republicans have passed rules making it impossible for the Democrats to offer amendments to any significant legislation, thereby sparing themselves the indignity of having to choose, say, between the interests of their financial backers in the drug industry and their constituents.

Cognizant that they will owe their victory in part to the public's revulsion at the way Congress does (or avoids) business, the Democrats also plan to revise House rules to enable the opposition party to introduce amendments and to sit on conference committees, from which Republicans have routinely excluded them since Tom DeLay became majority leader. They also will ban members from accepting gifts and paid trips from lobbyists.

By bringing such measures to a vote in the House, and conceivably in the Senate as well, the Democrats will be in the enviable position of doing both good and well: promoting long-overdue policy shifts that the public supports and putting their Republican colleagues in a pickle. Confronted with an up-or-down vote on raising the minimum wage or making medication for seniors more affordable, many Republicans will side with the Democrats. Should the Democrats win the Senate, Republicans will have to calculate the risks of filibustering such mom-and-apple-pie measures. These bills will also pose a conundrum for conservatives such as John McCain, whose presidential aspirations have not been clouded by having to vote on these issues.

Its so crazy it just might work.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New DCC Attack Ad

OK, I'm going to hell for this one:
According to a political outsider the DCC plans on possibly running a new attack ad in all fifty states within the next two weeks:
"Vote for a Democrat, we'll only try to raise your taxes, not schtup your kid."

Monday, October 16, 2006

GOP Spiraling Downward?

If you ever made paper boats and floated them down a stream when you were a kid you may recall that sometimes they'd become caught up in the swirls and eddies and begin circling and once that happened one of two things would occur they'd either build up enough speed to break free or they'd be pulled under.

It seems that the GOP's chances of maintaining a majority in the House and Senate this election year are about the same.

From the NY Times:

In Final Weeks, G.O.P. Focuses on Best Bets

Senior national Republican strategists who had been briefed on decisions made during the party’s internal deliberations discussed the overall strategic thrusts but declined to provide specific dollar figures, saying that would give too much information to the Democrats.

The decision involving Mr. DeWine offers the most compelling evidence so far that Republicans are circling their wagons around a smaller group of races, effectively conceding some Senate and House seats with the goal of retaining at least a thin margin of control when the 110th Congress is seated next January. Democrats need to win 6 seats to capture the Senate and 15 seats to win the House on Nov. 7.

Still, in interviews, Republican strategists said that the flow of bad news out of Iraq and the resignation of Representative Mark Foley after admitting he had sent sexually suggestive messages to teenage Congressional pages had soured the environment for incumbents and blunted the impact of a long-planned crush of negative advertisements Republicans had prepared to undercut Democratic challengers this month.

In one sign of the shifting political environment, as of this weekend, national Republicans were running advertisements in 29 districts; of those, 26 are held by Republicans and 3 by Democrats, though Republicans plan to begin running advertisements this week against an Illinois Democrat, Representative Melissa Bean. National Democrats are on the air in 30 districts, and defending Democrats in just 3 races.

“For a midterm election in the sixth year, based on historically the number of seats lost, you’ve got to play defense,” said Carl Forti, the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “We have the luxury of being in the majority, so all we have to do is hold our own.”

Thursday, October 12, 2006

And Then There Was One?

Looks like Britain has at least one General that thinks Iraq is going downhill too. The difference between him and the U.S. Generals who vocally concur though is he's not retired and he's in charge of the entire British army.

From the BBC:

General seeks UK Iraq withdrawal
General Sir Richard Dannatt
General Dannatt took on his role in August
The head of the British Army has said the presence of UK armed forces in Iraq "exacerbates the security problems".

In an interview in the Daily Mail, Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, is quoted as saying the British should "get out some time soon".

He also said: "Let's face it, the military campaign we fought in 2003, effectively kicked the door in."

There are currently more than 7,000 British soldiers in Iraq, based largely in Basra in the south of the country.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said Britain had "a clear strategy" and worked with international partners "in support of the democratically elected government of Iraq, under a clear UN mandate." More

Original Daily Mail interview

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mr Kim's Got a New Sabre

and he didn't waste any time at all in rattling it:

North Korea threatens war over sanctions

North Korea stoked regional tensions Wednesday, threatening more nuclear tests and saying additional sanctions imposed on it would be considered an act of war, as nervous neighbors raced to bolster defenses and punish Pyongyang.

South Korea said it was making sure its troops were prepared for atomic warfare, and Japan imposed new economic sanctions to hit the economic lifeline of the communist nation's 1 million-member military, the world's fifth-largest.

North Korea, in its first formal statement since Monday's claimed atomic bomb test, hailed the blast as a success and said attempts by the outside world to penalize North Korea with sanctions would be considered an act of war.

Further pressure will be countered with physical retaliation, the North's Foreign Ministry warned in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

"If the U.S. keeps pestering us and increases pressure, we will regard it as a declaration of war and will take a series of physical corresponding measures," the statement, said without specifying what those measures could be.

President Bush called for stiff sanctions on North Korea and asserted that the United States has "no intentions of attacking" the reclusive regime.

He said he remains committed to diplomacy, but also "reserves all options to defend our friends in the region."

As Bush spoke, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Washington to hold one-on-one talks with Pyongyang, something the U.S. has refused to do.

"I have always argued that we should talk to parties whose behavior we want to change, whose behavior we want to influence, and from that point of view I believe that ... (the) U.S. and North Korea should talk," Annan said.

Annan also called on the communist nation not to escalate an "extremely difficult" situation.


Is he bluffing? Yes and no. Its important to keep in mind that Mr. Kim is a paranoid meglomaniac and as such isn't going to do anything that will jeopardize his way of life, his standing, or his power. However, if he thinks that he can increase any of those through military means he will not hesitate to do so. The question is how can world leaders deter him without fueling his lusts for for personal power, respect/fear, and image/fame/notoriety?

Look at it like this: He's paranoid that the U.S./World is out to get him thus he arms his country to the max and deveops nukes thereby increasing the World's wariness of him which in turn feeds his ego and his paranoia. Its a Freudian feedback loop and it will continue until he either dies, gets some meds, or implodes. He's not going to give up the global stage or stop creating problems any other way.

Anyone have a recipe for Lithium in vapor form?

Monday, October 02, 2006

An Open Letter to Donald Rumsfeld

I wrote this back in April but I never could the oversize gummy bears I was going to use to illustrate it. So if you could just imagine oversized gummi bears with gummi guts and armed with cocktail swords you'll be on par with my (and I use this term very loosely) "vision".

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld,

I recently read your article in the Washington post and I can say that I for one always had you pegged as a pragmatist rather than an eternal optimist. I am of course discounting the possibilities that you are A: a pragmatist who is completely delusional. B: actually have no clue as to what is happening in Iraq other than what certain aides, advisors, and defense contractors tell you which would make you a total tool. And I’m fairly certain you aren’t a total tool. Recently there have been numerous calls for your resignation due to what many believe to be mismanagement of the war in Iraq. I am, however, not among those.

I too believe that you have grossly mishandled the war in Iraq by:

1: Expecting 122,000 US troops to secure the entire country when your Generals said they need a force three times that size which in turn lead to the looting of Baghdad which has armed and financed Bathists and insurgents alike. This in turn led to an unimaginable increase in the amount of time, money, and lives that have been spent there.

2: Expecting the Kurds to join the US troops in liberating Iraq. After all Saddam Hussein gassed them only after an uprising we instigated but failed to support.

3: Cutting the State Dept totally out of post war reconstruction.

4: Failure to allow Iraqi police to be trained outside of Iraq in safety by non-coalition countries.

5: Your continuing failure to be honest with the American people about the situation in Iraq and the amount of time, lives, and resources that would be needed to secure a free and stable Iraq.

While others might add additional charges to that list, my list can all be directly attributed directly to your decisions alone. You have turned what was a decisive quick victory into a total clusterfuck. And whether by hubris or incompetence you have failed and then mislead, misdirected, and probably outright lied to the American people. In doing so you have dishonored your office, the American people, and the troops at your command.

Many rightfully call for your resignation and others call for you to be fired so that someone better suited to complete the mission can take charge. However, you have served your country both in the military and in public office. You have chosen to be a warrior. And so I call upon you to publicly apologize to America and then regain your honor according to the warrior’s code of Bushido. In other words, I call upon you to commit Seppuku (aka Hari Kiri).

Ordinarily I wouldn’t call for such an extreme measure however your habit of taking liberties with the truth makes it hard for me and many others to believe anything you say. And I feel that if you rammed a sharp piece of steel through your gullet and swished it around some on network TV (or even pay per view as we could use the proceeds to help offset the deficit or aid the families of fallen vertans) it would really work wonders for your credibility and add a lot of sincerity to your apology. (Also please be sure to set this up ahead of time with the networks so that your redemption is listed in TV Guide so I can set my TiVo)

“In the world of the warrior, seppuku was a deed of bravery that was admirable in a warrior who knew he was defeated, disgraced, or mortally wounded. It meant that he could end his days with his transgressions wiped away and with his reputation not merely intact but actually enhanced.” - Wikipedia

Now I realize that you’re not of Japanese descent so ritualized suicide may not exactly run in your blood. And while I am sure you loosely familiar with the concept you may be lacking specific knowledge about the actual process and so I have taken the liberty of making a set of instructions that will assist you in properly redeeming your honor by slitting your gizzard for all to see.

First you’ll need a short sword or very large knife. Traditionally seppuku was committed with a short swordy looking thing called a wazikashi. Since you’ll be wanting to dispatch yourself pretty quickly you’d have to get one from a sword master in Japan in theory. However I think that this would send the wrong message to the public and so a good “Made in America” solution would be a Bowie knife as they are approximately the same length.

Additionally you’ll need a second, meaning a pal, whose duty it will be to lop your head off so that you don’t suffer too much (traditionally called a Nogginator). I’m sure that Colin Powell would be all to happy to assist you in such an important matter. It’s your call. I’m just making suggestions here. Your second will need to be pretty handy with a sword and again because we don’t want to send the wrong message a vintage US cavalry saber would be an excellent weapon choice for your second.

First get on your knees

Then your partner gets behind you

Then you both “unsheathe your blades” (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the quotes. I know its juvenile.)

Hold the blade of the Bowie knife with both hands and drive it into your stomach.
(Its important not to go crazy here, as you don’t want it poking out your backside)

Make a quick left to right cut followed by a quick upward one
(This will make a amazingly disgusting mess so don’t look.)

Now your compadre will mercifully begin a downward stroke with his sword which would then be followed by a muffled thud as your head hits the floor. (You’ll probably actually get to hear it. Is that like creepy cool or what?)

And presto! You’re instantly a hero to all!

Or you could just stop blowing smoke up America’s ass and do the damn job right. Whichever you prefer. Thank you for your time and attention.