Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Friday, December 31, 2004

WE HAVE ALWAYS HATED EURASIA - EASTASIA - WHOEVER: This story and the one below were both spotted by that always invaluable portal The Sideshow.
On the Thursday before Christmas, Al Neuharth ... suggested in his weekly column ... that the U.S. should start bringing home our troops from Iraq "sooner rather than later." ...according to the latest Gallup poll, a majority of American believe it was a mistake to invade Iraq in the first place, and feel the war is not going well for us. ...

Yet, our brief article about the Neuharth column (which did not endorse his position) got linked at numerous other Web sites, and drew more letters than virtually any story we have ever posted. ... Just to give you an idea of what's out there, in the zeitgeist, here are a few additional extracts. ... One should keep in mind that Neuharth, besides his professional accomplishments, served his country in World War II as an infantryman in France, Germany and the Phillippines, and won a Bronze Star. ...

George Wyman: "Mr. Neuharth is simply UnAmerican."

Jeffrey A. Norris: "Cowards and traitors like Al Neuharth want all the comforts they know and enjoy, without a sacrifice to buy it." ...

Kenneth Genest: "They had two of these in World War 2. One was called Tokyo Rose and the other Axis Sally. Their job was to discourage the American soldiers. I see they have one now at USA Today."

Dan Clawson, Fresno,m CA.: "A disgrace to the men and women who serve. USA Today supporting the terrorist cause." ...

Peter Kessler: "And as for the good war, WW II, the lefties were four-square for that one. Yes sir, they were saving the USSR, Stalin and Communism. It's sad we didn't join Hitler until he wiped out the USSR. Alger Hiss and the Uptown Daily Worker (The New York Times) be damned. I see you've joined the club. Well, you're probably a founding member."

Joe McBride, Fort Dodge, Iowa: "Mr. Neuharth, thanks to you and your ignorance the terrorists are probably booking their flights to the U.S. now! If we pull out of Iraq with the job unfinished the terrorists will be bombing McDonalds, and blowing up malls and schools here, killing our innocent men, women and children." ...

Mel Gibbs: "The Patriot Act will put both of you (Neuharth and Mitchell) on trial for treason and convict and execute both of you as traitors for running these stories in a time of war and it should be done on TV for other communist traitors like you two to know we mean business...."
Read it all HERE.

SELF-DESTRUCTION, INC.: Charles Dodgson posted this at Through The Looking Glass.
In the wake of the election, Democratic Party leaders are working on the party's appeal to swing voters. They might want to take a backward glance at how the other guys won:
One fundamental calculation was that 93 percent of the voting-age public was already committed or predisposed toward the Democratic or Republican candidate, leaving 7 percent undecided.

Another calculation was that throughout the Bush presidency, "most voters looked at Bush in very black-and-white terms. They either loved and respected him, or they didn't like him," [Republican pollster Matthew] Dowd said. Those voters were unlikely to change their views before Election Day 2004.

That prompted Republicans to jettison their practice of investing 75 to 90 percent of campaign money on undecided voters. Instead, half the money went into motivating and mobilizing people already inclined to vote for Bush, but who were either unregistered or who often failed to vote -- "soft" Republicans.
The Republicans won, in short, by mobilizing their base. In response, the Democrats try out "compromise" positions on abortion and social security which sell their own base out. Smooth move.
Read the whole thing HERE.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR: Found at Musings of a Philosophical Scrivener is this gem John Cleese couldn't convice the other Pythons to include in The Life Of Brian.
...the Judeans are first proclaiming Brian as messiah. He begins losing pieces of personal property that is on him, and two parties pick up a couple of these things (a gourd, and a sandal), and proclaim them as being true relics of the messiah.

According to Cleese, his suggestion for that scene is that when Brian drops the gourd, it shatters into a number of fragments. At that point, one of the followers picks up one of the shards of shattered gourd, and proclaims:

Look! The piece of gourd that passeth all understanding!
The CEO of the corporate-sponsored Democratic Leadership Council and his wealthy cronies are in their regular postelection attack mode. Despite wins by economic populists in red states like Colorado and Montana this year, the DLC is claiming like a broken record that progressive policies are hurting the Democratic Party.

From's group is funded by huge contributions from multinationals like Philip Morris, Texaco, Enron and Merck, which have all, at one point or another, slathered the DLC with cash. Those resources have been used to push a nakedly corporate agenda under the guise of "centrism" while allowing the DLC to parrot GOP criticism of populist Democrats as far-left extremists.
Read it HERE.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

When a Florida church group put a Nativity scene on public property, officials warned it might open the door to other religious -- and not-so-religious -- displays. They were right.

Since the Nativity was erected in Polk County, displays have gone up honoring Zoroastrianism and the fake holiday Festivus, featured on the TV sitcom "Seinfeld."
Read it HERE. (Found at Jesus' General.)

Sunday, December 26, 2004

GET ON MY KNEES AND PRAY: Should Rummy join the snows of yesteryear? Who really knows the answer? Michael Bérubé has given us a partial transcript of Bush's support for him at a press conference:
QUESTION: I’d like to go back to Secretary Rumsfeld. You talked about the big-picture elements of the secretary’s job, but did you find it offensive that he didn’t take the time to personally sign condolence letters to the families of troops killed in Iraq? And if so, why is that an offense that you’re willing to overlook?

BUSH: Listen, I know how– I know Secretary Rumsfeld’s heart. I know how much he cares for the troops. And I also know this. No one knows what it’s like to be to the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes. No one knows what it’s like to be hated, to be fated to telling only lies. But Secretary Rumsfeld’s dreams– they aren’t as empty as his conscience seems to be. I have heard the anguish in his voice and seen his eyes when we talk about the danger in Iraq and the fact that youngsters are over there in harm’s way. And he’s a good, decent man. He’s a caring fellow.

QUESTION: Exactly how caring can he be, if he’s not even signing condolence letters and he’s never admitted making a single mistake with regard to this fraudulent and obviously worse-than-counterproductive war?

BUSH: Listen– let me finish! and get that wire out of my back, goddammit!– no one knows what it’s like to feel these feelings like Secretary Rumsfeld does. No one bites back as hard on their anger– none of his pain and woe can show through. But, as I said before, the Secretary’s dreams are not as empty as his conscience seems to be. He has hours, only lonely. His love is vengeance that’s never free. And no, I don’t really know what that last sentence means, and as I said before, I’m not going to negotiate with myself about it. Or with you– it wouldn’t be right, it’s not the holiday spirit. Thank you very much.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Gerald Allen ... an elected Republican representative in the Alabama state legislature ... introduced a bill that would ban the use of state funds to purchase any books or other materials that "promote homosexuality". Allen does not want taxpayers' money to support "positive depictions of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle". That's why Tennessee Williams and Alice Walker have got to go. ...

Since Allen couldn't give me a single example of the homosexual equivalent of 9/11, I gave him some. This autumn the University of Alabama theatre department put on an energetic revival of A Chorus Line, which includes, besides "tits and ass", a prominent gay solo number. Would Allen's bill prevent university students from performing A Chorus Line? It isn't that he's against the theatre, Allen explains. "But why can't you do something else?" (They have done other things, of course. But I didn't think it would be a good idea to mention their sold-out productions of Angels in America and The Rocky Horror Show.)
Read it HERE.
The City Council today approved a measure that will require strippers to wear permits while they are on stage. City Councilman Chip Haass pushed the amended human display ordinance as making it easier for police to identify dancers.

But a lawyer representing several strip clubs in the city said it would also create a physical danger by making it easier for an obsessed customer to find out a dancer's real name and where she lives. Attorney Jim Deegear has said he will file a lawsuit challenging the measure, which the 11-member council passed unanimously early Friday during a marathon meeting that began Thursday afternoon. Deegear says the city's strict rules are part of an effort to drive his clients out of business.
Read it HERE. When anonymous stripping is outlawed, only outlaws will strip anonymously....

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

CLOSE ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK: Some of the questions didn't offer the answers I wanted to give, but I can live with the result. (Found at Life or Something Like It.)

You Are a New School Democrat

You like partying and politics - and are likely to be young and affluent.

You're less religious, traditional, and uptight than most Democrats.

Smoking pot, homosexuality, and gambling are all okay in your book.

You prefer that the government help people take care of themselves.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

NEWS SO YOU LOSE: A quick summary in regard to the latest election imbroglio of 20 Amazing Facts.
FAR AS HUMAN EYES COULD SEE: Greil Marcus, who has written some fascinating books, gives us this prophetic vision:
October 5, 2018--George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, died today at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. He was 72. The cause of death was announced as heart failure. ...

It was often said, during Mr. Bush's first term, that he saw himself as a messianic figure, ordained by God to carry the flag of freedom ("God's gift," in Mr. Bush's words, "to every individual") to the corners of the earth, and that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, at least, were part of a crusade of transcendent significance. After Mr. Bush's reelection, it was increasingly argued that his wars were a diversionary and obfuscatory tactic meant to raise Mr. Bush's standing, and the power of the Republican Party both in Congress and in the states, solely for the benefit of Mr. Bush's domestic agenda, and that, as the poet Donald Hall wrote, "it was the United States itself that was the true object of conquest." a result of the passage of the 28th Amendment in 2006 and its ratification by the states the next year, in 2008 Mr. Bush announced his candidacy for a third term. He was overwhelmingly defeated that November by former President Bill Clinton.

...Bush announced that, to find his way back into "productive service" and "do God's will," he would welcome the opportunity to act as commissioner of baseball. But while Commissioner Bud Selig said that he would be honored to yield the position to Mr. Bush, he cautioned that the exigencies of the job would probably require him to remain in office "for another year, or maybe two," and the question was not raised again.
IT WAS WORSE THAN YOU THOUGHT: The real scoop from Fafblog:
Dan Rather has announced that he'll be stepping down as anchor of the CBS Evening News this March after a reign of terror of 24 years.

Rather first came to prominence covering the Nixon White House, where he would routinely set American flags on fire and hold them aloft in the press room. Within a month after taking over for Walter Cronkite in 1981, he turned heads for his coverage of the Reagan assassination attempt, in which he described John Hinckley as "the bravest man alive." Despite massive Republican hunger strikes, Rather would not only remain anchor but be awarded six Emmys and a Golden Globe for that comment alone by the Association of Gay Communist Media Jews. ...

Rather will continue to work as a full-time correspondent for 60 Minutes and as a leader of his local al Qaeda cell. His successor on the Evening News will be exumed corpse of Leon Trotsky.
Planning a European vacation and don't want to talk American politics with an inquisitive foreigner? A New Mexico T-shirt company suggests going Canadian.

For $24.95, offers the "Go Canadian" package, full of just the kind of things an American traveler can use to keep a vacation free of U.S. politics.

There's a Canadian flag T-shirt, a Canadian flag lapel pin and a Canadian patch for luggage or a backpack. There's also a quick reference guide -- "How to Speak Canadian, Eh?" -- on answering questions about Canada.
Read it HERE. (Found at The People's Republic of Seabrook.)
American author and journalist Tom Wolfe has won one of the world's most dreaded literary accolades -- the British prize for bad sex in fiction. The prize is awarded each year "to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel".

Wolfe won it for a couple of purple passages from his latest novel "I am Charlotte Simmons", a tale of campus life at an exclusive U.S. university. "Slither slither slither slither went the tongue," one of his winning sentences begins. ...

Judges described Wolfe's prose as "ghastly and boring". ... Organisers said Wolfe, who is based in New York, was the first writer in the 12-year history of the competition to decline his invitation.
There are more bad examples HERE. Wolfe has always been a pompous affected jerk, and proves it again.
STOP BLAMING YOURSELVES: I don't care for Michael Moore's movies, but he's quoted some great advice for Democrats on his web site, from "a woman who has spent years working as an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and she sees many parallels between her work and the reaction of many Democrats to last month’s election." She writes:
Listen as Donna and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer take to the airwaves saying that they have to go back to the drawing board and learn from their mistakes and try to be better, more likable, more appealing, have a stronger message, speak to morality. Watch them awkwardly quote the bible, trying to speak the ‘new’ language of America. Surf the blogs, and read the comments of dismayed, discombobulated, confused individuals trying to figure out what they did wrong. Hear the cacophony of voices, crying out, "Why did they beat me?"

And then ask anyone who has ever worked in a domestic violence shelter if they have heard this before.

They will tell you: Every single day.

The answer is quite simple. They beat us because they are abusers. We can call it hate. We can call it fear. We can say it is unfair. But we are looped into the cycle of violence, and we need to start calling the dominating side what they are: abusive. And we need to recognize that we are the victims of verbal, mental, and even, in the case of Iraq, physical violence.

As victims we can't stop asking ourselves what we did wrong. We can't seem to grasp that they will keep hitting us and beating us as long as we keep sticking around and asking ourselves what we are doing to deserve the beating.

Listen to George Bush say that the will of God excuses his behavior. Listen, as he refuses to take responsibility, or express remorse, or even once, admit a mistake. Watch him strut, and tell us that he will only work with those who agree with him, and that each of us is only allowed one question (soon, it will be none at all; abusers hit hard when questioned; the press corps can tell you that). See him surround himself with only those who pledge oaths of allegiance. Hear him tell us that if we will only listen and do as he says and agree with his every utterance, all will go well for us (it won't; we will never be worthy).

And watch the Democratic Party leadership walk on eggshells, try to meet him, please him, wash the windows better, get out that spot, distance themselves from gays and civil rights. See the Democrats cry for the attention and affection and approval of the President and his followers. Watch us squirm. Watch us descend into a world of crazy-making, where logic does not work and the other side tells us we are nuts when we rely on facts. A world where, worst of all, we begin to believe we are crazy.

How to break free? Again, the answer is quite simple.

First, you must admit you are a victim. Then, you must declare the state of affairs unacceptable. Next, you must promise to protect yourself and everyone around you that is being victimized. You don't do this by responding to their demands, or becoming more like them, or engaging in logical conversation, or trying to persuade them that you are right. You also don't do this by going catatonic and resigned, by closing up your ears and eyes and covering your head and submitting to the blows, figuring its over faster and hurts less if you don't resist and fight back.

Instead, you walk away. You find other folks like yourself, 57 million of them, who are hurting, broken, and beating themselves up. You tell them what you've learned, and that you aren't going to take it anymore. You stand tall, with 57 million people at your side and behind you, and you look right into the eyes of the abuser and you tell him to go to hell. Then you walk out the door, taking the kids and gays and minorities with you, and you start a new life. The new life is hard. But it's better than the abuse.

We have a mandate to be as radical and liberal and steadfast as we need to be. The progressive beliefs and social justice we stand for, our core, must not be altered. We are 57 million strong. We are building from the bottom up. We are meeting, on the net, in church basements, at work, in small groups, and right now, we are crying, because we are trying to break free and we don't know how.

Any battered woman in America, any oppressed person around the globe who has defied her oppressor will tell you this: There is nothing wrong with you. You are in good company. You are safe. You are not alone. You are strong. You must change only one thing: Stop responding to the abuser.
Read the whole thing HERE.
EXPORTING TEXAS POLITICS: The Republicans have been throwing out mail ballots they don't like in Dallas County for over twenty years. Looks like somebody in Washington has picked up on the same trick -- but they got caught because they threw out the wrong person's vote in Seattle:
King County election officials yesterday admitted a major error in tallying votes in the governor's race that could reverse the results and make Christine Gregoire the winner in the hand recount now under way. The discovery that 561 votes were improperly disqualified super-heated backers of Republican Dino Rossi, who for weeks have worried that King County, a Democratic stronghold, would find a way to give Gregoire the edge.

Republicans are now "absolutely convinced that King County is trying to steal this election," said Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance. "There are Republicans urging us to organize mass protests, to take to the streets," Vance said. "At some point people's patience just runs out." ...

The King County error came to light Sunday when Larry Phillips, chairman of the Metropolitan King County Council, was looking over a list of voters from his neighborhood whose ballots had been disqualified. Phillips spotted his own name on the list, prompting an investigation by King County elections workers that turned up 561 improperly disqualified ballots.

King County Elections Director Dean Logan said that when workers were verifying signatures on absentee ballots, they erroneously disqualified voters whose signatures hadn't been entered into a computer system.
Read it HERE.