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  • Cheney is too secretive for the White House. Wow.

  • The unofficial kickoff event for Crashing the Gate will be at Austin's South By Southwest. I will do a book signing, participate in a panel discussion, and whatever else my book-tour overlords line up for me. Info on the rest of the book tour is currently being worked out.

  • Speaking of the book, the special edition ships out next week, so those of you who bought early will finally get to judge whether the $25 was worth it. I've got my fingers crossed that you'll like it. And remember, the book is a free beer ticket. As for the pony, it depends on the outcome of the class action lawsuit currently addressing the issue.  

  • I'm not a big fan of the Olympics, but I almost prefer reading about the last place finishers than the winners. More personality in the cellar.

  • Research suggests that playing video games slows brain aging.

    A new study of 100 university undergraduates in Toronto has found that video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable.

    Is that the secret of my success? Nah, it probably has to do with me selling out to the DLC. The checks they send me every day make it all worthwhile.

  • Charlie Cook notes that under best circumstances, the best Dems could probably snag in November would be really thin majorities. Enough for subpoena power, but not enough to wield real power. Thus, is it better to stay barely in the minority (where only a few GOP defections would stymie the GOP agenda), or barely in the majority, where they would share the blame for gridlock and be accused of "obstructionism" and blamed for every ill generated by this misbegotten administration?

    It's actually a question I've been pondering a long time, and have meant to blog if I ever figure out where I stand on the issue.

  • Casting call Wednesday for the Crashing the Gate commercial in Oakland. The commercial will be shot in SF on Thursday. Details here. Email if interested and want to more information.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:27 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Charlie Cook is wrong (4.00)
    We need to gain a clear majority and then start steamrolling the fuckers,

    then have a civil discourse while we take the Thugs remaining in office to school to educate them

    The more we elect the faster we can start undoing the damage.

    "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

    by Tamifah on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:29:13 PM PST

    •  How is Cook wrong? (none)
      He merely posits the question -- which is better, narrow majority or narrow minority. It's not a "right" or "wrong" thing.

      "Clear majorities" aren't in the cards, not in 2006. The odds are against taking either chamber, and if we do it will be seriously tight.

      2008, on the other hand, is a different story.

      •  Sorry misread (4.00)
        thought you wrote that he thinks we should stay in the minority.

        I doubt we can take an overwhelming majority in either side of Congress in 2006, but one can hope. And with the results coming in from state/local elections, I'm encouraged about our chances so far.

        I do think it is possible that if we all work hard and pull together we can make a lot of gains in 2006 that may not quite be expected, and that is a step in the right direction.

        It sucks that anyone feels like one party has to have a majority in Congress to get anything done. Most of the problems in our country could be handily addressed if the people there now were willing to put country first.

        "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

        by Tamifah on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:36:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  screw the cries of "obstructionism"... (none)
          We do need supoena power to help put a stop to all the illegal crap that the Bush administration has been doing to this country.

          Look at it this way:

          If i'm being mugged I would love it if someone "obstructed" the mugger.

          What I don't need is someone who comes along and says "Well, let's agree that you give up half of your money, and he won't shoot you, ok?

          With supoena power, there is a chance to put a stop to some of the Republicans illegal actions. Without that small measure of accountability, I would be very concerned about what America will look like come 2009.

          (Not to mention that the Republicans will label the Democrats as "obstructionist" no matter what.)

          To paraphrase Rumsfeld, "You go to Congress with the majority you have..."

      •  As J.R. "Bob" Dobbs reminds us, (4.00)
        "Too much is always better than not enough."

        A majority is always better than a minority.

        Speaker Pelosi.

        Majority Leader Reid.

        Let's face it, the Thugs and their media shills are going to keep slandering us no matter what we do, so we might as well go for the glory.

      •  Also, (none)
        "winner" sounds much better than "loser".
      •  majority (none)
        Sorry but- are you folks crazy? If there is one thing that must be the dem focus it is to take control of at least one branch of congress. Enuf with the garbage of not being powerful enough to do anything! REMEMBER ONE WORD- SUPPOENA!!!!!!!
         I repeat----------SUPPOENA--------------------
        It is the public comment that maybe we should be hoping to remain as a stronger minority! STOP IT! Answer  this -- How much has our minority been able to do as a MINORITY!
        Oh for gods sake.Wake the eff up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        •  here's what we can do (none)
          If we have subpoena power, can we start indicting those Repug legislators whose seats we'd be most likely to take in special elections?

          They're all guilty of something. I don't know the procedures here well enough, but it strikes me that we could get a thin majority and build it to something rather grander over the course of a year. After that, we go after Bush.

          Qui faciant leges ubi sola pecunia regnat? -- Petronius

          by Karl the Idiot on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:38:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Judges (none)
          The other critical issue is the confirmation of judges in the Senate. If the Dems get control, they can block an extreme pick by Bush in his last two years if one of the liberals (Stevens) leaves the Supreme Court.

          The Dems have to step to the plate and put forth an agenda. This will give them the opportunity to do it.

          Winning one of the two houses of congress is critical.

          Gerardo -

          by orlandoreport on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:14:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Subpoena Power, (none)
          Properly utilized, will uncover even more of their lies and thievery, providing substantial ammo for the 2008 cycle.  We sure can't stay where we're at!

          Plus, with chairmanships, you can hold hearings, conduct REAL oversight, etc.  I think Charlie's wrong to minimize the impact of even a slim majority.  Just look at how the Repugs have leveraged that. Without a majority in either house, we have no legit platform, and Rep. Conyers is reduced to meeting in the basement.  

          Give us this lever, and we'll move the world!

      •  Allow me to translate (none)
        "I don't want to win the majority.  That would mean having to govern and put out plans for 2008 and beyond.  That's too much like work.  I want to lose in a way that doesn't throw suspicion on me by manipulating the point spread."

        What kind of half-assed rallying cry is that?  Yeah, that's real inspiring.  Establishment people can't even FAKE enthusiasm now.

    •  Agreed (4.00)
      is it better to stay barely in the minority (where only a few GOP defections would stymie the GOP agenda), or barely in the majority, where they would share the blame for gridlock and be accused of "obstructionism" and blamed for every ill generated by this misbegotten administration?

      I'm actually somewhat shocked that Markos asked this question.  Sitting in the sidelines and hoping we don't get blamed for Bush's stupidity is DLC thinking.  Being passive worked real well for us the last two elections, how's about we try something different.

      On the other hand, having a majority means we have the opportunity to take fruitful risks, the opportunity to attempt to bring about real progress, and the opportunity to show real political courage.  I'm not unmindful of the fact that risks bring pitfalls, but I'm much more mindful of the fact that everything we take for granted now was once an act of political courage, and we would be wrong to forget that.

      •  Ding! We have a winner! (4.00)
        Make it so that it's Bush who is the obstructionist.

        Propose every popular piece of progressive legislation, and make Bush veto every damn one of them.  Make him veto a minimum wage hike.  Make him veto a plan for better health benefits for veterans.  Make him veto more money for rewewable energy.  Make him veto taxes on oil companies.  And so on.  Make the GOP congressmen squirm when Bush's vetoes show to the U.S. who his REAL constituency is...  

        And if Bush DOES pass some Dem proposals?  THEN OUR TROOPS GET BETTER BODY ARMOR.  BETTER BENEFITS.  And so on.  See that?  Real world benefits, for people who deserve them.  Even if we don't get to claim full credit for them, we were the impetus for them.  

        Make Bush sweat every single piece of legislation.  Transparency in gov't guidelines, everything.  Hold his feet, and the feet of all other GOPer's, to the fire, and get something done.

        Oh, and subpoena everything that moves...

        •  Oh... and we should propose (4.00)
          the Stop Selling Us To Communist China Act.  Balance the budget, rein in spending.  Make Bush veto a balanced budget.  Then tell the American public, "we tried to cut up Bush's credit cards, and he pitched a fit."  Either he passes it, and things get better, or he looks bad.

          Come on, we need those majorities, and we need to play hardball offense.  

          How nice will it be to stop freaking out every time Frist proposes banning gay marriage?

          •  Sadly... (none)
            That'll never happen.

            Notice in your previous post every one of your suggested pieces of legislation involves spending more money.

            That's the shit that keeps getting us into trouble politically.

            (0.00,-3.13) "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it."

            by Steve4Clark on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:56:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You are so right (none)
          While I understand Cook's logic on this issue, I think he is missing a big point.  With majories in either the House or Senate, we will be able to propose legislation that shows our values, i.e. minimum wage hike, benefits for the poor, better healthcare, environment protection, etc.  We won't just be sitting there complaining about the Rep's budget or energy plan.  So either Bush vetoes legislation that makes him look even worse (already at 39% while controlling whole govt) or he approves Dem legislation that actually helps our country.  

          ???/Richardson '08 Who's going to head my ticket?

          by DemBrock on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:04:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  We'll be blamed no matter what... (none)
        Imagine Conyers and Waxman with subpoena power.

        Gotta have a majority.

        Gotta win.

        Carolyn Kay

    •  It's a simple issue (4.00)
      We need the majority so that congress can begin doing it's job again of oversight.  We don't need to wield power so much as get a giant flood light to point at all the crap that's been going on the last few years.

      1. What happened to all that money in Iraq?
      2. What is the nature of the NSA program?
      3. Why didn't Bush and Cheney give sworn testimony about what happened on 9/11?
      4. What was done with the Iraq intelligence by the white house (i.e. part B of that investigation)?
      5. What is the real status of our military forces in Iraq?  What is really happening there?

      We've got a lot of questions that have been left unanswered for a very long time.  We don't need to "wield power" we just need to issue a lot of subpoenas.

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:25:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Procedural Question (none)
        is there some way to take subpoena power and make it so that it is not exclusively controlled by one party?

        I think that beyond bipartisanship, lack of subpoena power is what is causing a lot of problems with the floodlights.

        Also it might provide political cover for Republicans who are voting in lockstep against stuff like this if the Dems can just subpoena stuff anyway.

        "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

        by Tamifah on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:14:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes actually (none)
          As I understand it, the Intelligence committee has rules that permit a minority of members to subpoena witnesses if a given investigation is not progressing.  There are various rules and technicalities that govern how it can be used though so it requires some careful planning to do it right.

          --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

          by sterno on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:15:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •   Subpoenas (none)
        Very true. evidence keeps adding up that imply acts of treason by this administration of an unheard of magnitude. We need to push hard to get the facts out beyond the ability of the corporate press and its handlers to supress.
  •  I play Halo before (none)
    practicing for the LSAT. I swear I do better this way.

    Doing riddles helps, too.

  •  Yeah, if we just stay in the minority forever... (4.00)
    then no one can blame us for anything!  I'm sorry, but this is really a no brainer for me.  Not to mention, since it's impossible to forsee a wave before it materializes, there's a decent chance that the "best case scenario" isn't.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:31:32 PM PST

    •  Yup, a brilliant strategy indeed. (none)
      Hey, I'll do ya one better! Using this sort of logic, it'd be even better to just give up EVERY seat in the House and Senate! Then they REALLY couldn't blame the Dems for anything that goes wrong!

      Brilliant! Simply brilliant!


      •  Indeed (none)
        Instead of "Crashing the Gates" why don't we call it "Barring the Gates" to any good candidates and make sure the usual losers, like Steve Elmendorf and Bob Shrum, run any campaign where we have half a chance.  Perhaps Markos should volunteer to be Rahm Emmanuel's little butt boy too?

        Oh, wait a minute, he already is.

        It was fun while it lasted folks but Markos has been co-opted by the losing-is-winning crowd in DC.  

        Can someone please set up a new Kos-like site for those of us who want to win?

        •  Kneejerk (none)
          You might want to reread what Kos said above.  

          Republicans - rationalizing bad behavior since 1/20/00!

          by Otis29 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:12:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Markos has been co-opted (none)
            Kos extensively quotes a pro-defeatist Democratic loser who spells out in all its gory detail how victory in November will actually mean that we will be eviscerated by the American people for being....wait...that's right....obstructionist!  

            Here's a little clue, any Democrat who warns us about trying too hard because it might mean we will end up being labeled obstructionist is a TOTAL FUCKING LOSER.

            How does neo-defeatist Markos respond?  Does he reject this pro-defeat crybabying out of hand? Well no, we find out that he's been worrying about this very thing for some time.

            Face it, Kos is already framing a potential defeat in the coming elections as a tactical victory, thus ensuring Demo-loser concultants  like Steve Elmendorf and Bob Shrum will be able to ply their defeatist wares in 2008, because after all, by losing we are really winning!!!

            This much is clear, Markos has been co-opted by the defeatists and is now unquestionably pro-defeat.

            •  Now you're catching on. (none)
            •  Ah, I see (none)
              It is "clear" because you say it is "clear".  Gotcha.

              I don't necessarily agree with the argument that it would behoove us not to win in November, but I do see why consideration of the benefits would be made. How that makes someone a defeatist I'm not sure.  

              I would think that Markos has an idea of the benefits to either winning or losing in November.  Looks like we can't say the same for the "non-defeatists".

              Republicans - rationalizing bad behavior since 1/20/00!

              by Otis29 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:01:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Markos tried to redefine defeat as victory (none)
                First of all, I define victory as taking back the two houses of Congress.  In fact, with good candidates, a fired-up base, and strategic leaders with a burning desire for victory, this should not be all that hard to achieve considering the horrific job the Republicans are doing as well as the fact that we have an inverted yield curve on interest rates which means a recession is likely soon.  

                Did you notice the weak link in the above paragraph?

                Yes, I know you did, it's the part about the strategic leaders with a burning desire for victory.  

                Like it or not, Markos is now one of those strategic leaders, along with Bob Shrum, Steve Elmendorf, Rahm Emanual and others.  So what is he doing?  Organizing, fundraising, cheerleading?  No, he's repeating Republican narratives about Democrats being "obstructionists' and throwing up a trial balloon about how he has been thinking long and hard about whether taking back both houses might actually be a defeat, and that losing by a slim margin might actually be a victory.  It's kind of difficult to rally the troops with that kind of logic, huh?

                I'm sorry but Markos has internalized all the defeatist tendencies of the Democratic elite he was recently invited to become part of.  What's sad is that he didn't even seem to put up much of a fight.  Are those people really that impressive to hang around with?

  •  Sean Maloney is looking for a blogmaster (none)
    I wanted to pass this along from here:

    Part-Time Web/Database Position Available Immediately

    The Friends of Sean Patrick Maloney campaign is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Web/Database Associate.

    General responsibilities will include:

    Consistent maintenance and updates to website

    Hosting campaign blog and other online community forums

    Data entry and maintaining of campaign database

    Maintaining an office filing system

    Assisting with general tasks around the office and at fundraising events

    Minimum Qualifications/Requirements:

    The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, goal oriented, and creative.

    Two Years experience with webpage design and editing.  Campaign experience is a plus.

    Digital video editing experience.

    Experience with NGP Software a major plus, but candidates that are familiar with any computer database program (i.e. Excel, Access, Lotus) are encouraged to apply.

    Preferably pursuing a degree in computer science, engineering, or political science.

    Two letters of recommendation and a writing sample are required.

    A stipends will be considered, and additionally college credit may be available depending on school policy. Immediate availability is best, but all qualified applicants will be considered.

    Please send cover letter and resume to Peter Yacobellis at or mail to 322 W. 11th Street, New York, NY 10014. Put "Webmaster" in the subject line or on the envelope.

    Sean Patrick Maloney is a candidate for New York State Attorney General in 2006. Sean is an attorney at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, one of the country.s premier law firms, where he represents corporate as well as pro bono clients, including the family of Matthew Shepard, the victim of one of the nation's most infamous hate crimes. From 1997-2000, Sean served as a senior West Wing advisor to President Clinton, where he became
    the youngest person ever to serve as the president's staff secretary, a post previously held by Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. Sean was also the highest-ranking openly gay man ever to serve on the White House staff. Sean and his partner of 12 years Randy Florke live in New York City and have adopted three children together.
    Visit for more information

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." - Frederick Douglass

    by Blue387 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:32:20 PM PST

  •  Majority (4.00)
    Majority is better.  Impeachment hearings are the only thing that will slow down this freight train to national oblivion that we currently are riding.

    Were the Democrats in the 1970s "obstructionist" or heroes for forcing Nixon to resign or face conviction?

    I think we're at a similar stage.

  •  Casting Call (none)
    still on for tomorrow? Location? Just sent an email but thought I'd ask here as well.
  •  Anyone see (none)
    John Faso's live campaign announcement last night. He seemed stiff and dull.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." - Frederick Douglass

    by Blue387 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:33:55 PM PST

  •  Senate Seeker (none)
    is looking for new Democratic members. Senate Seeker is an online game where you can be a congressperson, senator, even president! Propose legislation, debate other members, run and win elections! Click here!

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." - Frederick Douglass

    by Blue387 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:35:39 PM PST

  •  Re: those checks (none)
    Ever heard of Direct Deposit? Saves time, no paper trail.
  •  Subpoena power is EVERYTHING (4.00)
    To paraphrase Woody Allen: when the American people find out what's been going on in their name for the last 5 years, they'll never stop throwing up.

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:37:16 PM PST

  •  Remember Jeffords?!? (4.00)
    51-49 is all you need (If the damn democrats would stay in line just half as well as the republicans do).
    Anyone who is STILL spouting off about how a slim majority doesn't mean anything- after the last few years of one or two vote margins in the House- is spouting a favorite republican talking point.
  •  Those of us who play video games (none)
    have "less aged" brains because we're not cool enough to get involved in drinking and drugs.....

    congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

    by bartman on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:43:56 PM PST

  •  BTW Kos, (none)
    Where do I sign up for the daily checks from the DLC?


    congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

    by bartman on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:46:04 PM PST

  •  Leaders don't worry about where the blame lies (4.00)
    If the Dems want to lead, you can't worry about the blame bullshit. Just lead and let the chips fall where they may.

    Hell, the party would probably garner more respect from the independents if they just stood up in that case and declared that they're the majority, their job to lead, and their responsibility to get it done and start kicking some Dem-in-name-only asses like Lieberman.

    Don't whine about it. Get it done, even if you have only one vote. If Bush wants to veto everything for 2 years, tell the people that he's the problem and you'd be happy to impeach his ass to get things on track again.

  •  Whittington now has had a heart attack. (none)
    See here:

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CNN) -- The fellow hunter who was shot and wounded by Vice President Dick Cheney has suffered a minor heart attack after a piece of birdshot migrated to his heart, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.
  •  Free beer? (none)
    How?  Where?  As a graduate student, I demand answers.


    •  Olde Frothingslosh (none)
      The new old pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom!

      Image Hosted by

      It's your father's beer any more. It's not free, but close enough.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:08:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cheney is SO there, duuude... (none)
      And he'll bring his own blunderbuss! (BYOB?)

      I got tired of trying to find photos of Cheney drinking, so I fotoshopped my own.

      I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

      by Swampfoot on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:26:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Take the thin majority (none)
    have government financed elections, no registered lobbyist can become a congresscritter for 4 years and vice versa. Keep both houses'  and both parties' hands out of the Federal cookie jar.

    Forget about impeachment until the off off year 2007 elections. Focus on maybe three investications(1)spying, warrentless wiretapping/nameless writs of assistance(datamining)/national security/plamegate, 2)torture/unitary president/signing statements, and 3)money laundering thru non profits), and wait to investigate other things until later. A short agenda, but powerful. President Polk had 4 objectives when he came to office, accomplished them, and left. Underrated, but someone to learn a lesson from.

    “A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.” Montesquieu

    by sailmaker on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:51:46 PM PST

  •  Helen Thomas Podcast (none)
    from the SFChron

    (aka SFGATE)

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:52:59 PM PST

  •  "Crashing the Gate" is a beer ticket? (none)
    Is that like a Wonka golden ticket?
    So seven lucky book buyers will find a golden frontspiece and win a tour of the kossacks factory?  
    Seriously... look forward to reading it and passing it on to a 13-year old precocious pal.  She too is looking forward to dumping the GOPjority and aiding the cause by finding a page spot in the WA statehouse.
    She's like a little Pelosi and Bill Clinton rolled into one Girl Scout-sized package...  formidable...  She may be the first woman to ascend to the US prez, and do it while Condi is still rotting in war criminals' prison.

    As to other threads, I highly recommend "San Francisco" (MGM 1936).  Nice pace, rich-ish characterizations, and fun (even if I had to fast forward through most of Jeanette's songs).  There's even a political contest subplot to keep it real.

    Valentine's day is 6 minutes from closing.  Viva la doctora roja!

    Russ Feingold: cooler than Batman.

    by yojimbo on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:53:39 PM PST

  •  I once was a Pong hotshot. (none)
    No fr%$^$ing wonder!

    And I played video games even before.

    I am still waiting for Kos's book to be delivered.

    I think this one is very useful right now since we are in a dogfight with the Repugs.; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:55:18 PM PST

  •  WaPo editorial on Cheney (none)
    David Ignatius: An Arrogance of Power

    Cheney's shooting of a fellow hunter and, most revealingly, not immediately informing the WH or the press, has become a defining moment of this regime.

    CNN has a behind the scenes article that gives an insight to the media's access, and how situations like this are normally dealt with as opposed to how it came about this time.

    Both are very interesting angles on the actions of a vice president who cares little for how he's perceived, by anyone.

    The American taxpayers wouldn't object to free transportation for certain government officials if they'd go where we wish they would.

    by PatsBard on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 11:56:13 PM PST

    •  I can't resist... (none)
      "ALWAYS BRING DOCTORS SO YOU DON'T GET CHARGED WITH MURDER: Sure it's awesome to shoot stuff, but on the off-chance you "accidentally" hit a "friend" in the face after guzzling some hipflask whiskey, you don't want land in jail and get your enormous dimpled heiny drilled by white-collar criminal Yalies named Chad for three to five years. So make sure at least two or three top-notch cardiovascular surgeons are with you - AT ALL TIMES! "

    •  In the sports pages (none)
      Let me suggest that this story is bigger when you have headlines like this in THE SPORTS PAGES
      Hunters don't see Cheney as blameless

      This was a story by a KC Star writer in the sports section.

      And, here are the first two paragraphs.  

      The official line out of the White House is that Vice President Dick Cheney wasn't to blame for accidentally shooting a hunting partner during a quail hunt over the weekend.

      But Kansas City-area quail hunters aren't buying it.

      Notice: it is not KC-area angry liberal Democrats who are not buying the Cheney story.  

      Does the sports page of the paper you read have stories like this one?

      Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren. Brecht.

      by MoDem on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:42:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This may not mean much (none)
    but, I've seen a drastic change in the way the media is covering (or covering up for) the administration from my perch here in the great white north.

    Watching cbc,bbc,cnn,fox over that last 6 months has made me firmly believe that a capital D beside the name on the ballot will be worth as much as name recognition.

    Even another Rovian war won't stop the tide from turning Imo

    Fool me once... can't get fooled again.

  •  A majority is a majority! (4.00)
    How many bills have the Republicans passed by just a couple of votes? It seems as though I'm always reading items like "216 to 214", or "51 to 50 with Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaker."

    If we keep the caucus together, the slimmest of majorities can be a powerhouse.

    Also, with a majority you gain control of the Committees, which means you control what goes to the floor.
    Ultra-right judges? Never make it for a vote.
    Outrageous tax cuts for the rich? Forget about it!
    Manipulation of post-war intelligence? Time to investigate!


  •  What? (none)
    Is it better to stay in the minority?

    Hell no.

    If we've learned nothing else, we've learned that a lot of power comes directly from setting the agenda.

  •  The power dilemma (none)
    Thus, is it better to stay barely in the minority (where only a few GOP defections would stymie the GOP agenda), or barely in the majority, where they would share the blame for gridlock and be accused of "obstructionism" and blamed for every ill generated by this misbegotten administration?

    Don't live in fear of Republican talkings points. A majority is clearly the better situation for the Dems. to be in. If they are afraid of being called obstructionists from their opposition then they haven't got their values properly aligned. Just consider what would be 'obstructed'...bills like the ones we've seen passed recently like CAFTA, the Bankruptcy bill, the pork-laden Transportation bill, the Energy bill, the Prescription Drug Act, etc. etc. In all of these instances, obstruction was warranted.

    The way to combat the 'obstructionist' talking point is to aptly communicate one's reasons for doing so. I'm sure that the majority of Americans will agree that stopping bills that shaft the regular citizen in favor of benefitting corporations is a good thing. It's principle, not obstructionism-for-obstructionism's sake. If that can be communicated, Americans will respect that.

    Factor in subpoena power and a lot could happen very quickly to restore faith in our government. That would not only be welcome by Democrats but by large, increasingly discontent Independents as well.

    As for the chances of majority's happening in '06. Who knows? No one expected the 1994 results, not even close. I doubt it will be as unexpected as 1994 but it could very well bring about substantial shifts.

    'You can't begin to imagine how effective the Big Lie is.' N. Mailer 'TNatD'

    by jorndorff on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:00:55 AM PST

  •  Video Games vs Brain Aging (none)
    First, they're not studying naive people they introduced to video gaming. So the video gaming could be selecting bright, multitasking people rather than instilling any abilities.

    About that aging thing--I see they're linking it to multitasking. Here's something you don't see every day:

    I recall seeing a study of professional orchestral musicians' finger dexterity. They were in a class by  themselves until they were asked to move 2 or more fingers in different ways at the same time. Then they became indistinguishable from the average person on the street. Amateur bagpipers however beat the kilts off many or most professional classical musicians at complex combinations of finger movements. They use a multitasking fingering system that's rarely mastered much later than the teen years. But if learned in time, it can be maintained well into old age.

    Certain of the brain's multitasking ability deteriorates significantly in the late teens and early 20's. Especially learning multitasking activities. 14-19 year olds are almost a different species from the rest of us in that way. This could explain the widespread experience in instrumental music that, on many instruments, real virtuosity must be established young.

    From what I've seen of video games I'm very skeptical that they improve "brain" function as opposed to narrowly specific brain function.

    Still, I think this whole area of multitasking is underappreciated. If here in my 50's I had my choice of magic pills to take for memory, general intelligence, speed of thought or teenage-level multitasking enhancement, I'd take the multitasking in a heartbeat.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:05:13 AM PST

    •  It's a brave new world (none)
      this younger generation will be creating. I'm not sure if multitasking or hand-eye coordination will be a skill in demand if folks have to struggle against the fury of mother nature.
    •  Not only that, but (none)
      I suspect that there might be just a little bit of selection bias involved.

      If the students involved were from UofT or York, I wouldn't be surprised that you'd find a lot of bright and bilingual students.

      Now, if we were talking about Ryerson, that'd be a different ballgame... :)

  •  Charlie Cook needs to pay attention. (none)
    Democrats are already blamed for everything the administration, judiciary, or congress does or doesn't do.

    I'd run on obstructionism in '08 if we're in the majority, because that would be the whole freakin' reason the Democrats would win the majority in '06 to begin with.

    The Republican Agenda (brace yourselves, because I know it's been awhile since this has happened) would NOT be debated in Congress.  Admittedly, neither Democrats nor Republicans would accomplish much of anything, although I hope a Dem-controlled congress would actually start undoing what's been done.  

    Since there hasn't been a step in the right direction for a long time, maybe stopping for awhile and looking at the map would be best for the country.

    Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

    by gavodotcom on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:05:25 AM PST

  •  DLC sell out (none)
    Is that the secret of my success? Nah, it probably has to do with me selling out to the DLC. The checks they send me every day make it all worthwhile.

    If kos sold out to the DLC, we'd here a lot more about how electable the moderate stances of Hillary Clinton were. Also, I wouldn't put it past him (the fictional DLC sell-out kos) to rig the straw polls to have her support rise over the next few months, hitting 60% around Nov 2007.

    Lastly, sell-out-kos would endorse long time senator from Conneticut, Joe Lieberman, as exactly the sort of principled effective democrat we should have more of.

  •  Kos Writes.... (none)
    ..."barely in the minority (where only a few GOP defections would stymie the GOP agenda), or barely in the majority"

    ...Given the choice I'll take the majority, the chairmanships, the supeona power, and the impeachment...Thank you very much.

    "Wonderful things can happen ... when you plant the seeds of distrust in a garden of Assholes" -- Elmore Leonard

    by Blue Shark on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:15:18 AM PST

  •  Perhaps the stupidest thing I've ever read here (4.00)
    Just ahead of the "Let Roe die and the progressives win!" crap so often spewed by some idiot dems:

    Charlie Cook notes that under best circumstances, the best Dems could probably snag in November would be really thin majorities. Enough for subpoena power, but not enough to wield real power. Thus, is it better to stay barely in the minority (where only a few GOP defections would stymie the GOP agenda), or barely in the majority, where they would share the blame for gridlock and be accused of "obstructionism" and blamed for every ill generated by this misbegotten administration?

    Losing is better than winning, up is down, black is white, etc. This sort of bullshit reasoning explains why the Democratic Party is so adept at losing. It expalins all the backstabbing and self-sabotage that passes for Democratic strategy these days. Are any of our so-called leaders even trying? If any of them actually believes shit like this then they all deserve to lose their seats in November. That way they won't have to worry about staying a permanent minority party at all. Wanker bullshit.

    I don't know whether to throw up my hands or just throw up.

    There is no such thing, at this stage of the world's history in America, as an independent press. - John Swinton, 1890

    by Xeno of Elia on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:16:21 AM PST

  •  being in the minority DOES have its benefits (none)
    I believe that it WOULD be a benefit to be in the majority.

    But look at all the horrific things we can blame on the Republicans now that we would have had to share blame for had Kerry been elected. Certainly many of the things that have happened might have changed had Kerry been elected, but there are LOTS of things that are simply outcomes of the first 4 years of the Bush Administration, and the past 10 years of (mostly) Republican control of Congress.

    I'm glad that if we could NOT have a Democrat win in 2004, at least we get to lay the blame for the previous years of problems with inadequate solutions ALL upon Bush's shoulders.

    Overall, our country is much worse off because Bush won, and worse off because the Republicans have controlled Congress, but we need to take advantage of what we CAN take advantage of - let's make sure we give them full CREDIT where credit is due!

    ...but not your own facts.

    by slouise217 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:20:37 AM PST

  •  Hartford Courant Reports Missing DHS VTC (4.00)
    WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security has not been able to find any recording of a crucial conference call five hours after Hurricane Katrina made landfall - though it has transcripts of other key discussions recorded in the days before and after the storm struck.

    Senate investigators want to know who conferred and what they said on a 40-minute call that began at noon Aug. 29, as levees were being breached in New Orleans and government relief efforts were overwhelmed by the enormity of the storm.

    The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee wants the transcript for its investigation of why the response was bungled. The public phase of that probe is scheduled to end today with the appearance of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who in recent days has become the critics' favorite target.

    Excerpt from this article.

    If this is true, and I find only one news item on this from the Hartford Courant, this is just a "heckuva" lot more than the missing 18 minutes.

  •  Billmon Cartoon (none)
    There's a great cartoon up over at Billmon's Whiskey Bar:
  •  No-brainer (none)
    Getting a majority would be well worth it. I don't have major confidence that the Dems would do enough with it; they fluffed some real opportunities after the Jeffords switch (for instance, one of my many problems with Lieberman was his utter, deliberate and corrupt failure to press the Enron question when he had committee power to keep that on the front page every day). In general, the time between Jeffords and 9/11 was largely wasted on accommodation of Bush, mostly because the Dems didn't yet understand that his word wasn't worth a damn.

    But control of the legislative calendar and, most particularly, the conference committees would in and of themselves be worth it. The disgraceful conference procedures of the past several years alone would be worth having back in Democratic hands. Control of the Judiciary Committee would help curb one of Bush's two worst long-term effects on American political life (I'm not sure yet whether Dem control could stem the other, the full-scale looting of the treasury). And, played right, a resistant Congress could shape the election agendas at a time when the Repubs aren't that deep after McCain. I understand Markos's tactical and strategic vacillation over this question, but to me, it's an easy call.

  •  P.S. (none)
    No impeachment, please. It's richly deserved (as is prosecution for international war crimes). But it would be a gift to the Republican base and the pundit idiots. Rather, let's just let them twist in the political winds, which are not blowing in their favor.
  •  IF Dems Lose in '06, we can save (none)
    ourselves for the really big important fights after '08.

    now, all we need is for The Party to:

    chase away great candidates,
    NOT fillibuster anything,
    blame Rove et al for being mean,
    blame Rove et al for being liars,
    treat regular people like ATMs,
    run lame TV commercials,
    have no 24*7*365 message cuz we don't do message,
    throw together the great "grassroots" thing at the last minute - like August '06,
    not scare the middle so we lose,



    Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders"

    by rmdSeaBos on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:44:48 AM PST

  •  As God is my witness, Kos, (4.00)
    Charlie Cook is currently fucked in the head, and will be singing a vastly different tune come late August.

    From where I see things, on the ground in a red zone in a purple state (check the area code in my nic), we may be looking at as much as a 40-seat swing in the House this year. And from what I hear from resolute independents in various states...

    Well, I'll just use Arizona as an example. Kyl's in more trouble than anyone outside of the state knows right now. The Arizona Republic -- only marginally to the left of the Manchester Union-Leader -- has been sending out subtle 'throw him to the wolves' signals for a while, and voters on the ground are receptive. And it's not even really election season as far as they're concerned.

    In terms of the 'tier' of candidate... well seriously, now, in '94 did anyone consider George Nethercutt to be anything above a 3rd-tier candidate in opposition to Tom Foley? Seriously?

    The mood in the heartland is ugly. People are pissed. The party in power will pay.

    And frankly, a majority in the Legislative branch is always to be preferred over a minority. Always. Generally speaking (and national elections are always conducted on general terms), people will hold the Executive's party responsible regardless.

  •  Hey, kos? (none)
    Will there be a casting call in the NYC area? What about Philadelphia? Where will this commercial air?

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." - Frederick Douglass

    by Blue387 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:48:23 AM PST

  •  Cook's Wrong (none)
    I like Charlie Cook. I've heard him speak.  He's smart and able.  But he's wrong on this.  There is no Congressional check of any kind on this White House.  No oversight hearings on military procurement.  On domestic spying.  On lack of armor for military.  On progress on the war.  On the budget debacle.   On Abu Ghraib.  On lying our way into war.  On fraudulent prescription drug coverage.  On Katrina.  The list is endless.

    Having a majority in at least one house opens up Congressional investigations.  Look at the way the Republicans tied up Clinton the minute Gingrich got his hands on the levers of power in the House.

    So, I'm all for the simplest of majorities in either the House or Senate, or both.  On the other hand, if that doesn't pan out, I'll try to console myself with Cook's view.

  •  I'll take a beer...... (none)
    with my new special edition book.....
    are you coming to Colorado??

    All it takes for evil to win is for enough good men to do nothing-paraphrase from someone.

    by Akapl on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 01:00:56 AM PST

  •  Take the slim majority (none)
    Being in a slim majority won't be easy.  Mostly because of people like Sen. Lieberman, who should be a Republican.  Also, we may have problems with people like Sen. Clinton if they try the standard DLC MO and triangulate themselves between the rest of the Dems and the President.  

    However, it is better to show the voters what we can do then just talk about it.  Even a slim majority will be able to block Bush's radical agenda, hold the Administration accountable and propose positive legislation.

    Won't it be fun to watch the President have to answer actual questions.  Just think of what the AG's testimony last week would have looked like if Dems controlled the Senate.  

  •  LMAO link, go ahead (none)
    Check out this link to freeper land, Clinton style.  The horrible, evil clinton and the FISA courts.  I really like the comment, " any chance of bush rolling this back?"
    Hey, I did my first paste on a
  •  MAJORITY PLEASE. (none)

    "welcome to the monkey house" vonnegut

    by realheathen on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 02:09:26 AM PST

  •  asdf (none)
    I am in 40's and I have been playing video games since Pong came out! And I still play video games..  I am glad my brain is not aged   Haha!
  •  Majority is *always* better (none)
    . Thus, is it better to stay barely in the minority (where only a few GOP defections would stymie the GOP agenda), or barely in the majority, where they would share the blame for gridlock and be accused of "obstructionism" and blamed for every ill generated by this misbegotten administration?

    Slim majority is better without a doubt.  Even with a majority of one in the house, we would control all the committees, write all the legislation, control the legislative schedule and have a seat on the conference committees.  

    They were able to do a lot of damage even with a majority of five.

  •  Need some help (none)
    Need recommendations and links to directories of lefty blogs that have a good breakdown by focus, ie., environmental, science, law, plameologists, voting reform, etc.  

    I know that I've seen a couple good ones in the past but now that I want to recommend to someone else, I can't find them anywhere.

    Thanks in advance.

  •  If it takes up to 24 hours (none)
    for the VP to report a shooting, then wouldn't the pre-emptive question be: Has Dick Cheney shot anyone in the past few hours? /snark

    If the Media had done their job, would there BE a war in Iraq?

    by carneasadaburrito on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:27:49 AM PST

  •  Another Link Too Important to... (none)
    ...leave out, but too short to diary.

    Sadly, when these are posted to open threads (our only option, at present), they wind up getting flushed down the iLoo.

    Here is a good story on privacy and anonymity.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:42:37 AM PST

  •  I want a majority. (none)

    So I can investigate every goddamn thing these bastards have done to my country over the past 6 years.

    Russ Feingold for President!

    by Basil on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:50:05 AM PST

  •  Just to throw my own view on the Cook article (none)
    out there: a majority is a majority, a minority is a minority.

    The Dems will have more clout as a majority and more clout is what they need to derail Shrub's agenda.

    Besides, this isn't like 2002 when Chimpy was exremely popular, riding the 9/11 wave. If the Dems do indeed get a majority in congress, his low popularity will be a big part of the reason for that. Therefore, why not be "obstructionists" if given the oppurtunity? Won't that be why they've been given the majority anyway?

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

    by Erik the Red on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 04:52:07 AM PST

  •  Cook should know Republicans are ALWAYS the victim (none)
    It doesn't matter if Dems are slight minority or slight majority, the Republicans are always selling the message that they are the victims. So why  not have the majority if your going to be getting blamed for gridlock anyway? The ability to investigate and do meaningful oversight will be worth it.

    We've seen what "party over country" thinking has done to the Republicans. We don't want to start thinking that way. It is our duty to the country to stop the facism taking hold right now. If we don't do it in Congress in 2006, we may have to do it in the streets by 2008.

  •  OHHHHHH! (none)
    How about this.

    Fitzgerald is about to pounce on Cheney, and instead of letting that become his downfall, he shoots someone in their face and claims that he is unhealthy afterwards and has to resign. He then gets pardoned for killing the dude (of course he will die) and still contiunes tp pull the strings with the new VP (I mean prez)...Bill Frist.

  •  Kos (none)
    Would you be able to remove Donna Brazille's name from your webpage.

    Please don't hold her up as someone to emulate or someone who knows.  

  •  Cheney (none)
    The article ends with

    "We have a history replete with evidence to the contrary," she said. "Every time we've had predictions of monumental liability, it never occurred."

    I really do hate these sumg fuckers.

  •  Majority, majority, majority (none)
    Wear obstruction as a badge of honor.  If we offer concrete, salable solutions to our problems -- if we devise a coherent platform and run aggressively on it -- then we have the mandate for reform, and the Republicans are obstuctionists.  It's what Gingrich did in 1994.  Then in 2008, when we haven't gotten everything done we wanted to, it's because we need to retake the Presidency.  Majority, however thin, means momentum; it means ascendancy.

    One other reason we need a majority, and I think this trumps all others: Justice John Paul Stevens.

    lime rick --Mr. Bones,/ as I look on the saffron sky/ you strikes me as ornery. --John Berryman

    by mspicata on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 05:40:57 AM PST

  •  DC Olympic Team TV Coverage (none)
    Hey, if you like last place Olympic finishers... what about the teams that didn't get there at all?   ;)

    Happy to report that the DC Olympic Curling Team is now getting TV coverage.  

    I'll diary more about this later, but for now... check out the video at the site...

    And thanks much to all the great folks who've been spreading the word!!!

  •  What middle? (none)
    Charlie Cook must be nuts.  Just nuts.  Democrats get blamed for everything by the republicans anyway.  We might as well put ourselves in position to at least slow down the train wreck.

    Just a few points on Charlie cook's delirium.  First, of course, the committee chairmen change.  Second, the power of the extreme right to dictate what can reach the floor ends.  Flat out ends.  Third, with a small majority, the Republ;icans have rammed through just about everything.  Everything.  Why continue that.  With 212 Democratic House seats after the 200 election, we got nothing.  The Republicans ran the place with the power moves Dems hadn't used since the 1964-66 era.  Why try it again?

    Finally, what lttle shreds exist of "moderate" republicans are going to be blown away if dems get even close to controlling the House or senate.  Look at the House.  Shays.  Gone.  Boehlert.  Gone (likely retired).  Simmons.  Gone.  The Progressive Punch scores drop from 42 in the House to 15 in a hurry.  We will be dealing with pretty right wing folks just to get 4 or 5 votes.  In the senate:  Chaffee.  Gone.  DeWine. Gone.  Specter.  Neutered.  What's left?  The Maine Ladies who incredibly manage to stay "moderate" without moderating anything?  Lindsay Graham?  Lindasay Graham!  You get the point.

  •  Thick skins (none)
    I hope Kos has developed a particularly thick skin.  Some of the stuff written here was inexcusably vicious.  Remember who provided this forum, pays the bills for it, and keeps it operating as smoothly as possible.  A bit of respect is due folks.

    Pennacchio for Pennsylvania

    by PAprogressive on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:36:49 AM PST

  •  Bare minority better than bare majority (none)
    I think the Dems being 1-2 seats short would of a majority would FORCE "moderate" Republicans to vote with the GOP majority EVERYTIME. The white house would be forced to put a ton of pressure on them for every vote this would create major problems for the GOP going into 2008.  Having a DEM majority would mean the GOP would blame the DEMs for the deficit and spending 'out of control' in 2008 (yes it wouldn't be fair but they would do it). It would be better for 2008 to just be close in 2006 an dhave momentum. The GOP broke the house let them fix it!

    "Speaking truth to power"

    by dopper0189 on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:46:39 AM PST

    •  Nope, not sold... (none)
      I get your arguments and they have some merit, but as I've said earlier:

      A majority is a majority and a minority is a minority.

      Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

      by Erik the Red on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:31:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not really a dilemna (none)
    I take it for granted that the subpoena power conferred by even a slim majority in one chamber, if wielded firmly, would quickly uncover enough wrong-doing to get the impeachment ball rolling.  Yes, conviction on impeachment would take 2/3 of the Senate, and it may well be unrealistic to think 2006 will give us 2/3 of the Senate, but I assume that enough powerful dirt is close enough to the surface that any Congressional oversight at all would quickly uncover enough to get even Republicans to a position where they have no choice but to vote to convict.  In this case, we should not shy away from having our Speaker assume the Presidency.  The other side can howl "power grab" all they want, and a good thing if the ineffectual howling comes from their side for a change.  If we use this take-over constructively, as in to accomplish real reform, I have no doubt that the voters would reward us handsomely in 2008.

    That the responsibility of being in power makes you hesitate even briefly about whether it is better to be in or out of power, tells me that the tendency you represent deserves to remain in the political wilderness another 40 years.  This country is in the middle of the worst mismanagement in its history, by the first truly national political machine we have ever seen, and you would forego the chance to get started immediately on the cleanup, because the problems created by the mismanagement are so great that you fear being tainted by them?  Then you don't deserve the trust of the electorate to be the one to do the cleanup, and they will never give you that trust.  Even in a democracy, perhaps especially in a democracy, power must be seized.  By constitutional means to be sure, but it still must be seized.

  •  €€ asdf (none)
    kos wrote: Charlie Cook notes that under best circumstances, the best Dems could probably snag in November would be really thin majorities. Enough for subpoena power, but not enough to wield real power. Thus, is it better to stay barely in the minority (where only a few GOP defections would stymie the GOP agenda), or barely in the majority, where they would share the blame for gridlock and be accused of "obstructionism" and blamed for every ill generated by this misbegotten administration?

    It's actually a question I've been pondering a long time, and have meant to blog if I ever figure out where I stand on the issue.

    I am very disappointed with your ambivalence. Demos should be naming committee chairmen, setting the legislative agenda, conducting investigations, and issuing subpeonas. It is not a close question.

    They could be doing minimum wage legislation, national healthcare, repealing republican rich man tax cuts, etc.

  •  There's an old saying down here in Louisiana.... (none)
    and, I don't know, it might be everywhere else:


    A majority of ONE seat is better than being shut out of everything.  As far as I'm concerned there's no doubt about this.

    Now, you could probably make a better argument that, in the current times, it would be better for us to have a stupid republican in the WH and democrats in control of congress, especially after W has fucked everything up.  Better that he have to clean it up with dems barking up his ass than have a dem in the WH and repubs running congress.  I don't think there's any doubt that controlling congress is most important at this time.

  •  Go For The Majority (none)
    Charlie Cook is a bright guy and asks a good and interesting question.  However, after the last 6 years the answer is clearly the majority is better since we can control committee chairs, set the legislative agenda, hold the admin accountable, etc.  If we are afraid of taking part of the responsibility for governing then we shouldn't be a party.  Two years is an eternity in politics and waiting for the "right moment" to seize everything could result in another decade in the minority.  Who knows what the climate will be in 2008?  

    You have to strike when the iron is hot and it is clearly hot in 2006.  Let's do our best to win majorities this year.

    And remember to fight the common enemy - THE REPUBLICANS.

  •  Exactly right, but 180 degrees wrong (none)
    Dems have an uncanny ability to see everything as a lose-lose situation, to the point that even winning the majority is seen as a loss.

    This is only because we have no confidence in our leaders.  How many of us, during the recount of 2000, thought it might be better to have a Republican become president under questionable legitimacy than Gore?  How many of us shuddered at the image of Kerry being blamed for all the consequences of Bush's policies?  Or better for a Republican administration to be held accountable for the next terrorist attack?

    We've lost the image of Democrats standing tall, of speaking and acting on principle, of having passion and brains and will.  If we recognize a mandate at all, we act as though it's shackled to our feet.

    There is no excuse for this self-defeatism.  All of this second-guessing will go away if we remember the only good reason for wanting power: advocacy.

  •  Kos, it's a simple answer (none)
    Go for the majority, no matter what.

    There are three key reasons:

    1. The power to stop Bush from further advancing objectively pro-fascist legislation, and to refuse to fund existing things that feed the nascent fascism....

    2. The power of subpoena.  Imagine the administration trying to hide all its crimes and misdeeds in the face of subpoenas from Congress, and the horror and revulsion of the public as those crimes and misdeeds are laid out... rather than swept under the rug.

    3. In the wake of applying #2, Impeachment of the Administration--Bush, Cheney and the Cabinet.  If/when they've been shown to have committed a constellation of crimes, violations of the Constitution and their oaths of office... the GOP in Congress will STILL refuse ot impeach, at least the public will get to see the hypocrisy in the limelight.  And that will lead to a larger majority....

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 09:48:46 AM PST

  •  A pony? There's a pony involved? (none)
    Speak to me more of this pony business.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    ( well as grandchildren.)

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