Saturday, February 24, 2007

How the Front Runners Lost Their Edge

The following is a story from the "Time" online site, which I found interesting. I believe the author is right on point as you can feel the shift of hype and attention leaving Hillary and McCain and surging to Obama and Rudy G. I think Hillary's especially in trouble as the Obama wave continues to grow. It's no wonder she's so testy towards him-lol!
In the beginning, Hillary Clinton and John McCain were the front runners in the 2008 presidential campaign, and it was good. Two strong, colorful candidates. What could be better? That was a few months ago--pre-surge, pre-Obama. In the party of primogeniture, the 70-year-old McCain was next in line for the throne. He was, and still is, scarfing up the fund raisers, pols and operatives who represent the beating heart of the Republican Party. And Hillary was ... Hillary. No last name necessary. It was an article of faith that because of money and marriage, the junior Senator from New York had it locked up. It still is an article of faith among right-wing talk-show hosts, who tend to believe in their wildest fantasies. "She's got it locked up, right?" Sean Hannity said to Dick Morris during a radio smarm-athon a few weeks ago. Of course, Morris agreed, juicily, but "wait till people see that she's an even bigger flip-flopper than John Kerry."

The odd thing about this conversation is how irrelevant it seemed. For one thing, no one with any sense still believes that Clinton--or McCain, for that matter--has the nomination locked up. And flip-flopping? Wasn't that the last election? So imagine my surprise to learn, in the New York Times, that Clinton was thinking right along with Morris, that she was really, really worried that if she admitted that her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, she could be accused of being a flip-flopper. "She is in a box now ... but she doesn't want to be in a different, even worse box--the vacillating, flip- flopping Democratic candidate [who] went down to defeat in 2000 and '04," said one of the Senator's apparently limitless supply of advisers. "She wants to maintain a firmness ... That's what people will want in 2008."

No, they won't. Most voters don't care if Hillary Clinton says "I was wrong" about Iraq. They know she was wrong, and they sense she regrets it. After all, she's against the surge and for a phased withdrawal. She knows more about national-security issues than most of her Democratic opponents do, and when she talks about what to do in Iraq, she makes sense. That should be all that matters. But there are about 873 people on the left edge of the Democratic Party, plus assorted anti-Clinton consultant trolls like Morris, who want to torment her over this. And she, inexplicably, is allowing herself to be tormented. One would think that after six stubborn years of George W. Bush, Clinton would realize there is a bull market for candidates who can admit, and learn from, mistakes. When John Edwards simply said "I was wrong" about Iraq on Meet the Press a few weeks ago, it seemed to defuse even Tim Russert, who can flog a flip-flop better than anyone else.

Clinton's sclerotic firmness may be chronic, a consequence of the sort of campaign she appears to be running--which is to say, the sort of campaign in which you put a ravening horde of consultants in a room and have them discuss whether you should say "I was wrong" about Iraq instead of making up your own mind and speaking the obvious truth. In other words, she's running against the Kerry campaign by imitating the Kerry campaign. She's fighting the last war.

John McCain, weirdly, seems to be doing much the same thing--thinking tactically, not strategically, looking backward, not forward. In McCain's case, he's running against ... John McCain, vintage 2000, a terrific candidate who spoke his mind and was, I suspect, eight years ahead of his time. Much has been written about whether McCain's stubborn support of the war is weighing him down this time. I don't think so. He really believes in his position on Iraq. He has favored more troops since the beginning; he was one of the very first Republicans to criticize Donald Rumsfeld. He could get away with this hawkishness--perhaps even be celebrated for it--if he were still the McCain of 2000. But now he's the guy who, yes, flip-flopped on Bush's tax cuts, voting against them in 2001 and for extending them last year. He's the guy who used to criticize telecharlatans like Jerry Falwell, and now he's snuggling up to them. People may assume he's playing some sort of Iraq game too. There is a difference between flip-flopping and admitting a mistake. You flip-flop for political advantage. You admit a mistake despite the political peril. McCain did the former; Clinton won't do the latter. Go figure.

As a result, both of these front runners seem slightly dated. McCain has lost more altitude, trailing Rudy Giuliani 29% among Republicans in a CBS poll last week. Clinton maintains her 20-point lead among Democrats, but her Iraq empretzelment may be a leading indicator of a stiff, consultant-swarmed campaign that will come across as clanky in 2008. It is still early, of course. Both McCain and Clinton will have a chance to reinvent themselves several times between now and Iowa. "I'm a little rusty," McCain said, wading into Iowa crowds last week. All right, but he, and Clinton, should hope that it's only rust--and not mold.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Somebody Needs A Hug!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Left Turn

Anyone who looks at this blog on a regular basis, knows that I never plug commercial undertakings in my posts, but since I recently opened a Liberal/Progressive online store and I could use some traffic-lol, I'm making an exception with this post. My store, "Left Turn" has a variety of leftwing merchandise from anti-bush, anti-war products to a section designated to support your candidate (Obama, Hillary, Edwards) with all orginal designs on apparel, mugs, bumperstickers etc. Above is an example of one of my latest designs. If you like it and want to see more come check out my store at Thanks!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Religious Right's Era Is Over

The following article first appeared at "Time Online". I found it an interesting read and I certainly hope the author is correct in his assertions!
By Jim Wallis
As I have traveled around the country, one line in my speeches always draws cheers: "The monologue of the Religious Right is over, and a new dialogue has now begun." We have now entered the post-Religious Right era. Though religion has had a negative image in the last few decades, the years ahead may be shaped by a dynamic and more progressive faith that will make needed social change more possible.

In the churches, a combination of deeper compassion and better theology has moved many pastors and congregations away from the partisan politics of the Religious Right. In politics, we are beginning to see a leveling of the playing field between the two parties on religion and "moral values," and the media are finally beginning to cover the many and diverse voices of faith. These are all big changes in American life, and the rest of the world is taking notice.

Evangelicals — especially the new generation of pastors and young people — are deserting the Religious Right in droves. The evangelical social agenda is now much broader and deeper, engaging issues like poverty and economic justice, global warming, HIV/AIDS, sex trafficking, genocide in Darfur and the ethics of the war in Iraq. Catholics are returning to their social teaching; mainline Protestants are asserting their faith more aggressively; a new generation of young black and Latino pastors are putting the focus on social justice; a Jewish renewal movement and more moderate Islam are also growing; and a whole new denomination has emerged, which might be called the "spiritual but not religious."

Even more amazing, the Left is starting to get it. Progressive politics is remembering its own religious history and recovering the language of faith. Democrats are learning to connect issues with values and are now engaging with the faith community. They are running more candidates who have been emboldened to come out of the closet as believers themselves. Meanwhile, many Republicans have had it with the Religious Right. Both sides are asking how to connect faith and values with politics. People know now that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and we are all learning that religion should not be in the pocket of any political party; it calls all of us to moral accountability.

Most people I talk to think that politics isn't working in America and believe that the misuse of religion has been part of the problem. Politics is failing to resolve the big moral issues of our time, or even to seriously address them. And religion has too often been used as a wedge to divide people, rather than as a bridge to bring us together on those most critical questions. I believe (and many people I talk with agree) that politics could and should begin to really deal with the many crises we face. Whenever that happens, social movements often begin to emerge, usually focused on key moral issues. The best social movements always have spiritual foundations, because real change comes with the energy, commitment and hope that powerful faith and spirituality can bring.

It's time to remember the spiritual revivals that helped lead to the abolition of slavery in Britain and the United States; the black church's leadership during the American civil rights movement; the deeply Catholic roots of the Solidarity movement in Poland that led the overthrow of communism; the way liberation theology in Latin America helped pave the way for new democracies; how Desmond Tutu and the South African churches served to inspire victory over apartheid; how "People Power" joined with the priests and bishops to bring down down Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos; how the Dalai Lama keeps hope alive for millions of Tibetans; and, today, how the growing Evangelical and Pentecostal churches of the global South are mobilizing to addresse the injustices of globalization.

I believe we are seeing the beginning of movements like that again, right here in America, and that we are poised on the edge of what might become a revival that will bring about big changes in the world. Historically, social reform often requires spiritual revival. And that's what church historians always say about real revival — that it changes things in the society, not just in people's inner lives. I believe that what we are seeing now may be the beginning of a new revival — a revival for justice.

The era of the Religious Right is now past, and it's up to all of us to create a new day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's. I'm spending mine shoveling snow-fun, fun!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bush Budget Cuts Veterans Healthcare In 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration's budget assumes cuts to veterans' health care two years from now -- even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012. But even administration allies say the numbers are not real and are being used to make the overall budget picture look better.

After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly -- by more than 10 percent in many years -- White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.

The proposed cuts are unrealistic in light of recent VA budget trends -- its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office -- sowing suspicion that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.

"Either the administration is willingly proposing massive cuts in VA health care," said Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas, chairman of the panel overseeing the VA's budget. "Or its promise of a balanced budget by 2012 is based on completely unrealistic assumptions."

This is just so typical of the Bush/Republican philosophy. They say they love and support the troops, they portray themselves as the party that's sooooo "Patriotic", but behind closed doors they continuously cut funding to the VA and underfund budgets for important items the troops need, such as body armor, upgrades for helmets and armor for vehicles. It seems to me that they have a strange way of showing their love and support!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Plucky Ducky!

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) -- Perky is one tough bird.
The ring-neck duck survived being shot and spending two days in a hunter's refrigerator -- and now she's had a close brush with death on a veterinarian's operating table.

The one-pound female duck stopped breathing Saturday during surgery to repair gunshot damage to one wing, said Noni Beck of the Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary.
Veterinarian David Hale revived the bird after several tense moments by performing CPR.
"I started crying, 'She's alive!"' Beck said.

Perky entered the headlines last week after a hunter's wife opened her refrigerator door and the should've-been-dead duck lifted its head and looked at her. The bird had been in the fridge for two days since being shot and presumed killed January 15.

Perky is recovering with a pin installed in the fractured wing, and probably will not have more surgery because of her sensitivity to anesthesia, Hale said.
Sorry, no politics today, but I love these offbeat news stories. I hope you guys enjoy this one too. All I can say is that's one tough old bird!--hee hee

Dixie Chicks Claim 5 Grammys!

The Dixie Chicks, shunned by country radio after singer Natalie Maines slammed President Bush, were the big winners at tonight's Grammys, taking home five trophies. It was also a big night for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who picked up four awards, and Mary J. Blige, who won three. Double award winners were John Mayer, T.I. and Ludacris.

I'm not a huge country fan and I pretty much never blog about entertainment news, but I must say I'm very happy to see the Dixie Chicks attain well deserved success despite all of the efforts by the right wing nazis of this country to destroy their livelihoods for simply expressing their opinions. It's every Americans right to use their freedom of speech and personally I think the people who set out to destroy the Dixie Chicks because they didn't like their opinions are a bunch of hypocrites who have no problem with Toby Keith spouting off right wing opinions on politics. You only ever hear the, "hollywood/entertainers should keep their mouths shut" crap when it's a liberal opinion being voiced. I have a question for all the conservatives out there who think Michael Moore etc. should shutup, what qualifies Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh as experts who have the God given right to say whatever they want? How are they any more qualified to offer political opinions, after all they're simply radio and tv personalities/entertainers?!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What a Nose!

Time to play name that animal...anyone know what this is?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Prewar Iraq Intel Faulted

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A leading figure in the Bush administration's march to war in
Iraq used questionable intelligence about
Saddam Hussein's links to al Qaeda to help justify the 2003 invasion, a
Pentagon watchdog agency said in a report on Friday.

The conclusion by former U.S. defense policy chief Douglas Feith's office that there was a "mature symbiotic relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda was inconsistent with the intelligence community's view, the Pentagon inspector general's report said.
Acting inspector general Thomas Gimble, who produced the classified report after one-year investigation, concluded Feith was authorized by senior Pentagon officials to pursue alternative intelligence analyses and his actions were lawful.
But Feith's actions were sometimes "inappropriate" because they "did not clearly show the variance with the consensus of the intelligence community," an unclassified two-page executive summary of the report said.

Top administration officials, including Vice President
Dick Cheney, used claims of a relationship between al Qaeda and prewar Iraq to suggest that Saddam could have had a role in the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
Senior officials at the time, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, were dissatisfied that the
CIA assessment did not more closely link Iraq and al Qaeda.

When I first saw this article my reaction was, "well, duh!". It' s been obvious from before the war even started that the Bush administration had an agenda and was determined to SELL the invasion of Iraq to the American people. I don't know about the rest of you, but personally I find a presidental administration lying and fudging intelligence in order to start an unnecessary war reprehensible and think it sure as hell should be illegal!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Congressman: Bush fears "platoon of lesbians"

A congressman from New York on Wednesday jokingly suggested the Bush administration may fear a "platoon of lesbians" more than terrorists in Baghdad, given the military's resistance to letting gays serve openly.

Rep. Gary Ackerman's criticism of Pentagon policy came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ackerman, a New York City Democrat, complained to Rice that the military had fired Arabic and Farsi translators after learning the translators were gay.

"For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay people than they are against terrorists. They're very brave with the terrorists, and if the terrorists ever got ahold of this information, they'd get a platoon of lesbians to chase us out of Baghdad," said Ackerman, prompting laughter in the hearing room.

It's hard to believe it's 2007 and gays in the military is still a controversial issue in this country. I'm one of those lesbians, who served, that Bush is worried about. I joined during the first Gulf War, when I was young, patriotic and willing to overlook the bigotry that abounds in this country. I'm proud and happy that I served my country, but now that I'm older I'm not quite as naive nor as forgiving as I used to be and frankly my attitude towards the military and the country on this subject is disgust! Some of the best militaries in the world allow gays to serve openly and it's caused no problems, so if the U.S. still doesn't want us I say, fine let the straight people go do all the dying. Why fight for a country that treats me as a second class citizen?!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I know Christmas is over, but this really tickled my funny bone!

Bush Submits $2.9 Trillion Budget to Congress

President Bush sent a $2.9 trillion spending plan to a Democratic-controlled Congress on Monday, proposing a big increase in military spending to fight the war in Iraq while squeezing other spending to meet his goal of eliminating the deficit in five years.

Yeah you read that right, that's Trillion with a capital T! Our fearless leader wants to blow billions more in Iraq on top of the hundreds of billions already wasted there. He's also suddenly worried about the deficit, which he had a major hand in causing with his tax cuts, and of course the last seven years of spending like a drunken sailor! In typical Republican fashion, I'm sure he has plenty of social programs he can't wait to cut funding to, so he can continue to give the rich some nice tax breaks, fund his war of stupidity and supposedly eliminate the deficit. If the democratic congress is ever going to take a stand, now would be the time, but I'm not holding my breath, because frankly as far as I can tell most of the current politicians are the same old self-serving hypocrites this country has had for years. I hope they prove me wrong!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Shadow of Iran

I don't know about the invading part, but I do get the distinct feeling that the "Bush Babies" intend to bomb Iran before this year's out. I hope I'm wrong about that, but President Bush lives in his own little delusional mind state so it wouldn't surprise me to see him expand the current wars even further.
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