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Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 11:50 AM PDT

"Unacceptable" Impotence

by btyarbro

Judging by the numbers of spam ads and messages I get daily, impotence is a big problem in this country.  But I never really understood that until now.  Insofar as impotence affects personal lifestyle, there appear to be effective pharmaceutical remedies.  Despite the barrage of TV ads, this problem is usually best dealt with privately and off camera.

But when a government is crippled by impotence, it must be exposed publicly because its citizens pay a deadly price.  What Katrina's wrath has wrought goes far beyond the physical, emotional, environmental, and political damage to the Gulf Coast, its victims, and its survivors. As the world has witnessed over the last week, this represents a massive failure.  More than any event since 9/11, she has focused a laser beam on our federal government's inability to serve a nation's citizens, save lives, offer relief to survivors, or fulfill the primary function of government.

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Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 10:39 AM PDT

Bush ending vacation

by btyarbro

"Right now our priorities are on saving lives," George W. Bush.

That's what he said. Apparently Bush is ending his vacation early and heading back to Washington tomorrow, to "monitor the federal, state, and local" efforts underway in Katrina's aftermath.

Perhaps Bush is getting the message that he still needs to pay attention to his citizens' needs, even though he's not up for re-election.

I can't help being reminded of his running off to Florida handing out bottles of water last fall.

The illusion of concern is kicking in, I guess.

Now watch for the disaster spin.

Even so, I hope it helps. Those people will need lots of support, aid, rescue efforts, funds, food, clothing, supplies, AND attention.

Discuss

Mon Aug 29, 2005 at 01:41 PM PDT

GOP Stealth Privatization Exposed

by btyarbro

[editor's note, by btyarbro]: Retitled, by kismet (see comments below)

With Katrina barreling up through the Mississippi Delta, there's another "big blow" taking shape on radar screens focused toward Capital Hill. And yet another example of governance by stealth: when you can't win, steal what you really want and proclaim it a victory.

Perhaps you thought Congressional leaders were too preoccupied with the various Republican scandals, or with protests to ignore, or with evangelical leaders running for cover. Maybe you thought Republicans were safely off at various August fundraisers, vacation spots, and other insulated bubble stops along the perpetual campaign trail, right?

Never underestimate the power of stealth governance. Remember the "night of the long gavels" to pass the Medicare prescription bill?

Follow along . . .

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[Second Update] OK, CNN is all over this, playing Bush's comments about Cindy. Now, it's personal.

[Updated]: I should have noted that you can scroll down to the headline for the voting link on the page. This assumes you'd like to read the article!

If not, here's a: link directly to the vote.

MSNBC has a new poll just up regarding President Bush's comments today about Cindy Sheehan.

Here's the question:  Do you agree with President Bush that anti-war protesters such as Cindy Sheehan are advocating a policy that would weaken the United States?

Here's the link to the article.

Evidently Bush felt compelled to talk about Cindy Sheehan while at a resort in Idaho, but not to speak TO her while she was in Crawford, a mile from his doorstep.

I'll post the opening graf on the flip:

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Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 06:54 PM PDT

Dueling Frames: Views on Iraq

by btyarbro

Front-paged at Political Strategy

The Grand One-note Party is up in arms over Chuck Hagel's latest comments on the Sunday funnies.

Seems Chuck has blown any chance he might have had to challenge the current resident of Casa Blanca because of his criticisms of Bush's handling of Iraq.


Here's the first snip that has them all upset:


We should start figuring out how we get out of there," Hagel said on "This Week" on ABC. "But with this understanding, we cannot leave a vacuum that further destabilizes the Middle East. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur.

But it's his specific comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam that really rattle the neocon cages:

More on the flip.


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Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 09:40 AM PDT

PowerGate's Hit Parade

by btyarbro

Frontpaged at Political Strategy

As the sweltering summer continues, and residents of the Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue prepare to escape from the political cesspool for their traditional August recess, many citizens probably look forward to fewer distractions of the Republican scandals emerging since Bush II began.

With such a large cast, it is difficult to keep track, much less agree on a nomenclature that applies to each case. The most recent shift in slogans has garnered much deserved ridicule. By tweaking the language just a little, the Global War On Terror has been magically transformed to sound less threatening: "a global struggle against violent extremism." Whew, that certainly changes things.

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Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 10:43 AM PDT

Question of the Day

by btyarbro

on MSNBC

What should happen to Karl Rove?

Given the inanity of Scotty's "briefing" today, how about a dKos weigh in on this? I've posted the link for voting below.

On Armando's thread, I already suggested that dKos run its own poll, but as long as MSNBC has started the ball, we might as well join in the fun.

Of course, I know that most of these polls are meaningless, but if enough noise continues on the subject, surely Gallop, Zogby, and others should eventually poll their regulars on this issue as well.

Like most of you, I'm sick of Scotty's non-briefing "gaggles" and non-answers.  We won't get anything else on this as long as the investigation is "underway."  He made that point clear today at least.

Here's the link to vote:

vote on Karl

Discuss
[Updated Post: with another document] This is an extended and updated post from this morning based on recommendations and additions from commenters (thanks, obgynlover!). As Congressman Conyers' current diary indicates, new documents regarding the Downing Street Minutes are forthcoming at his June 16th hearings.

To whet your appetite for follow-up information, here's a rushed, first offering, via Scoop, which involves a discussion between the UK Ambassador to the US and former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and a post from David Manning (see below).  As Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson notes, the following transcription was retrieved from the PDF version posted online (typos from the original; emphases mine):

From the Ambassador
Christopher Meyer KCMG
18 March 2002
Sir David Manning KCMG
No 10 Downing Street
IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN: CONVERSATION WITH WOLFOWITZ
CONFIDENTIAL AND PERSONAL
British Embassy Washington
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Fri Apr 15, 2005 at 10:17 AM PDT

Do You Feel Nuclear, Punk?

by btyarbro

[Late Update:  Durbin Addressing the filibuster and Frist's plans for the April 24th teleconference right now on C-Span 2]

Bill Frist's plan to pull the nuclear option on filibusters is apparently just part of the gameplan--both his and the neocons. For Frist, it's either this or forego a run for the Presidency in 2008:

Conservative activists are giving Frist little wiggle room.

"If Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist hopes to capture the Republican nomination for president in 2008, then he has to see to it that the Bush judicial nominees are confirmed," Richard Lessner, executive director of the American Conservative Union, wrote in a recent article. "If he fails, then he is dead as a presidential wannabe."
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Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 10:46 AM PDT

Houston, We have a problem

by btyarbro

[Update: forgot the link. Here it is: DeLay Protest]

While DeLay is off to Rome to pay his respects, looks like the Houston Democrats are losing not time to welcome him on home on April 16.

For those who are interested or might be in the area, the details are below:

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Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 08:00 AM PDT

Breaking: Right now on C-Span

by btyarbro

Dick Durbin taking on Santorum with an eloquent rebuttal of the same old infensible arguments Santorum (and others) have been making on SS.

He's ticking off the points one by one.  Nice to see him openly invite a discussion on this head to head because by the numbers, the privatization plan loses every time.

Also, for a fun look at the President's road show on SS, Steny Hoyer's calendar is great fun and an accurate view.

Tune in. Stabenow is up next.

Discuss

Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 10:01 AM PST

Thank God, it's (Good News) Friday

by btyarbro

Given my almost singular focus on this issue during the past few months, I couldn't resist a brief appearance even though I'm supposed to be working on other things. But this is worth a big Friday Woo-Hoo and a full read! Looks like the Democrats may stand their ground.
An overwhelming majority of Democratic senators said they will oppose, under any circumstances, Bush's plan to allow younger workers to divert a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into individual investment accounts that would follow them into retirement. A few others said they will not support such accounts if they require substantial government borrowing. Even many Republicans say that is inevitable because the alternative involves unacceptably large cuts in benefits or tax increases to replace the diverted taxes or both.
The best is after the jump.
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