Friday, June 02, 2006

Bush a Progressive?
No, but he is concerned with his Presidential legacy and that is causing him to lighten his touch a bit, just a bit mind you, which is good news.

I never thought of Bush as being particularly hardcore conservative or anything really, more of a go with the flow, live and let live, kind of guy in his personal life.

As a result, Bush has made two interesting and I think, positive moves.

First, he has taken the middle ground on immigration against the hard-line approach of his party. I can't help but think this is the result of living in a boarder state. He is calling for compromise on a very tricky and complex problem. I can't remember ever hearing the word "compromise" from the President in the last 6 years. This is good news and the right approach on immigration.

Second, he's made a good choice for Sec. of Treasury by picking a Goldman Sachs man, in Paulson. Goldman Sachs is a hard working and smart investiment/financial company that hires the brightest and hardest working guys and gals. To get the CEO of GS is a sign that Bush may want to surround himself with smart poeple, not ideological yes-men. Another good move.

Granted, its only the Sec. of Trea., but its a start.

Now, if he could dump Rove and Rumsfield, Bush really might be able to make some progress and his poll numbers may even increase. Rummy might be on the way out with the lasted, tragic, Marine corp problem his Hidetha and other places. If Rummy is canned, Bush should again avoid ideological yes men and choose the smartest and brightest Sec Def he can find to deal with the mess of Iraq and Afghanistan.

And if the Plame investigation can indict Rove, Bush would have an excuse to hire a new political advisor, although with two years left, he probably doesn't need one.

I'm not saying that this Admin is even approaching the smarts of the Clinton years, but there are signs of a shift from ideologues to guys and gal who are smart first and foremost, and that is good for the country.

Of course, this post will be mute, if not stupid, if Bush comes out (heh, get it) in favor of an amendment banning gay marriage, which it looks like he might do next week.

Democrats-The rest of Us

I'm a democrat because I'm not a republican. As a democrat I can:

1. Be for or against abortion or have an alternative view, like no abortions after the second trimester. Repugs are allowed only one view.

2. Be a Christian, a Muslim, or an atheists. Repugs are only Christian.

3. Be gay or straight or in between. The GOP has gays, but they must stay in the closet.

4. Be concerned or skeptical about global warming. The GOP again has one position.

5. Love and hate the former democratic President. GOP can only hate him.

6. like or dislike Bush, or even scratch my head a shrug my shoulders at what he does. The GOP can only idolize everything he says and does because he is a man of Jesus.

7. Support the war in Iraq or be completely opposed. I can also scratch my head and wish that smarter people were in charge of the war. The GOP can only love Iraq and thirst for Iran next.

8. Sincerely hope that brighter minds come to a peaceful and positive conclusion with Iran. The GOP can only attack.

9. Have various thoughts about the WOT that conflict with common ideas, and hope that brighter minds bring us through this time. The GOP can only be afraid, very afraid.

10. Be for against gay marriage. The GOP has a single opinion on this.

Etc-think of your own.

As a democrat, I can be who I am and still have a political voice. As a Republican I am one type of person, at least in public and say and do things that I might not agree with.

That is the difference between the GOP and the Dems.

Monday, May 15, 2006

NSA Phone Tapping Program

So much has been written about this issue, but I'd like to ad my two-cents.
I have nothing to hide and essentially don't mind my calls being tracked.

If you wanna know that I didn't call my mother on Mother's Day, fine with me (I did take her out to breakfast).

The spin is that gathering phone traffic information helps fight terrorism. Ok, fine.

But here's my suspicious speculation: Karl Rove and other in the Admin are using phone call information in many other, er, creative, ways, i.e., to influence elections, gather dirt, and monitor enemies.

This diary from DailyKos confirms my suspicious.

Monitoring the call traffic of news organizations looking for leakers. Its only a small step to monitoring the Democratic National Party for calls to say, Ohio. Beats breaking into hotel rooms.
Lets Not Win the House or Senate and Watch the Fun]

Bilmon has a post about maybe not wanting to win the House in Nov. The main reason is that things are such a mess, that if the dems win, they could easily get blamed, and that the GOP machine is built to ATTACK!!! and that if the dems are large in the House, the machine will rev up again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Come Out of the Closet, Dems

All the calculating nuisance by the Dems to whatever crap the Repugs have pulled gets us nowhere. I'd love to see a proposal like this thrust into the public view and completely supported by the Dems. Make the damned repugs respond. Their proposal is window dressing and we all know it. Damn tomorrow or ten years from now when we might be in power and have to play by the same rules. If that day comes, we'll change em.

We've got to starting playing the game like they do, ruthless, take no prisoners, political hardball.

Same approach with Iran, we have to be crazier then the Repugs. It does no good to point and say, "we told you so." Dems have to come up with a plan to stop that nuclear threat, something crazy, something that shows security is tops on our list and we'll go to any length to accomplish it. Something the Repugs wouldn't dare do. Air strikes, SOFs, whatever.

This approach works in two ways. First, it begins to change how Amer preceieve the democratic party, and this is not happening currently. Secondly, because the Dems have no power, know one can call our bluff. But they are forced to respond to it.

Think Kennedy and the bay of pigs.

Iraq is the same way. we are already there and most Amer agree in principle with the invasion. Therefore dems need to support that war, but point out that they could have done it better, with less lives lost and less money spent. How, buy being realistic about the endeavor rather then a god damned cowboy.

The Amer people want strength and security, well lets give it them. Would you trust Patton to run Iraq? How bout Kennedy to deal with Iran? How bout Eisenhower to deal with NK? (oops)
Come out the closet Dems and see the new reality!

The dems want to differentiate themselves in the political market place. Voters want beer, Dems want to give them wine. WRONG!!! Give them better beer, more interesting beer, cheaper, beer, beer with more alcohol. You get the point.

When is Marketing 101 gonna sink into Dean's head? When he stops being afraid, that's when.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Were Is the Outrage?

Abramoff cops a plea that has all of Washington shaking in its boots, yet the GOP chattering classes that include the 101st Fighting keyboarders, GOP radio hacks, and the usual GOP TV guys have only one thing to say, a single talking point...Dems took money too.

That my friends is BS. That my friends is a ironclad indication that the RW chattering classes are truly partisan hacks for the GOP and shows what cowards these guys are.

To the Rushes and Redstates of the world, its party over country. I always suspected as much.

Abramoffgate is pure political corruption that affects us all and erodes our democratic process and every MSM, blog, and talking head should be screaming indignation and outrage to the high heavens. But you could hear a pin drop from the RW blogsphere. And Rush and his dittoheads keep repeating to themselves that the Dems took money too, while Fox and MSNBC focus on anything but Abramoff (mine deaths, Sharon's stroke, another Iraqi car bombing, and jobless rates).


This is political corruption at its worst. This is the GOP political machine taking money to make favorable legislation. This is K-Street exposed. This is serious. And the only reason Dems are not involved is because the GOP locked them out of most of the lobbying deals.

I used to be a Republican. But when the Calif. GOP canned Richard Rairdon (ex LA mayor and moderate GOPer) and nominated Bill Simon, a very rightwing businessman with no political experience but a love of Jesus, it occurred to me that the GOP was not the party I thought it was.

And I've learned this lesson again by the complete silence I hear from the right regarding Abramoff. The GOP is not the party of small government, limited taxation, pull yourself up by the boot straps, and balanced budgets. Its just a party, a greedy, sleazy, arrogant party helping itself to the fat of the land, drunk on arrogance and power.

The silver lining in this mess is everyone in washington is exposed for who they really are. Politicians (mostly GOP) are sleazy, the RW noise machine are cowards, and the Democrats still won't come out of the closet. Very nice.

The only heroes in this country beside our fighting men and women are the prosecutors exposing these arrogant bastards to the light of day.

I hope half the House of Rep, GOP and Dem alike, fall in this scandal and we put the fear of God into these corrupt bastards!

And I hope the American people WAKE UP! and make their displeasure known on election day.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Democrats still the Ghost Party

The dems are still the 'No there over there" party, ain't they?

Still mumbling about Iraq.

They support the war but want the troops to come home. Or they want Marines to stay in Iraq but want Bush to have a plan. Mumble, mumble, mumble.

These days I'm a democrat but I can't stand Kerry or Dean or Pelosi. I've become one of those Americans who hates all politicians (especially after watching Duke crack on TV).

Its sad, because I think Bush and the repugs are venerable 2006 and 2008 but I look at the Democrats and what do I see?

Nothing, no leadership, no fresh face, no fresh ideas and certainly no one with an opinion that hasn't been crafted by a poll.

If all Repubs are big business crooks, or social conservatives looking for Ozzy and Harriet, then Democrats are confused ambiguous types not sure of anything.

The dems remind me a football team early in the rebuilding phase but still dreaming of the playoffs. No good draft choices, aging quarterbacks, second hand O line, very few prospects for the season ahead. The Forty Niners or Detriot come to mind.

They seem to be waiting for the Repugs to really do something bad that will move the country back their their side of the asle.

Pathetic. All we can do it wait as a new generation of democrats emerge, and hopefully the Repugs will goof up something.

Does Bush even smoke cigars?

The Playground Bully, Humbled?

During Bush's first term the game on the political playground was controlled by the GOP. He had the ball and he played the game he wanted to play. If you didn't want to play his game, then you were off the playground.

After his second term election, he thought it was still his ball, his playground, his rules. But he was wrong.

The last 12 months have brought Nixonian polls numbers, tough sledding in Iraq, a grumpy GOP House and Senate, failed domestic policy (al la SS), and a legal cloud hanging over Rove/Cheney. Its a classic case of second term blues and I do believe it has humbled the once arrogant and insolent Bush White House.

You see hints of this new found humility in the latest round of speeches and town hall meetings. The guy is clearly broken and worried about his historical place. Good. Maybe he can do some good.

He's backed off on the anti torture bill, he's fest up about bad Iraqi intelligence, and he's even taken several non-scripted questions from real Americans. (Saw this on the Daily Show-its hard to watch, but he can learn.)

And now that Bush has come down from his high horse, maybe he can fulfill that first term policitcal promise to be a compassionate conservative.

I'd settle for a less idealogical conservative myself, but that might be asking too much.

Reasons for Iraq

I hate when the right says, "would you rather have Saddam still in power?" That is not the argument. The argument is Bush started a war for completely different reasons then he is now currently fighting that war. To me, that is a failed policy. The policy Bush started with no longer supports the actions he took. Bush has been forced to changed the policy to something different, something that matches the reality on the ground.

Lets toss out two sets of ideas and see what happens to the debate on Iraq.

A. Before the war:
Mushroom clouds
Ties to terrorists
Imminent threat
Pre-emptive attack

B. Today:
Giving Iraqis Freedom
Making Iraq democratic
Disposing Saddam

Big rhetorical difference, no? But here's the kicker. If Bush had tried to sell the war using the rhetoric of column B, it never would have happened. In fact, I'd wager he never would have been interested. Bush could never have gone to the military and said, "I want to dump Saddam, and start a democracy in Iraq." They would have reminded the President that the role of the military is the provide security for the nation.

But here is the irony, I think the American people would have supported this type of reasoning for going into Iraq. And today, although we like to see a time table of some indication of progress, this is the main reason the public still supports the war. I know that I currently support the war because of these reason (although I ask myself if its worth the price).

So we started a war in Iraq for security reasons, and now we are fighting for humanitarian reasons. I think fanally this alignment policy and action will give us our best chance for success.

And it only took Bush three years to figure it out.

Friday, November 18, 2005


I see the GOP mean machine is heating up defending the President in Iraq. They are feeling support erode among the citizenry and are of course, blaming the treasonous democrats. I guess a democratic hawk, Murtha, called for troop withdraw now and Reid pulled his stunt the other day calling for more investigations into pre-war intelligence.

But the GOP is mis-reading the public. I think this is still support for the war. The problem is, Bush will not make his plans clear and succinct. Saying we will stand with the Iraqis until they can stand on their own is too vague. What Americans want is a competent approach to the conflict and a plan.

We secretly fear that the war is being handled like Bush handled Katrina. We also fear that it might become another Vietnam if Bush continues to put his head in the sand. I recall Nixon saying one thing and doing another.

So this latest set of attacks on Democrats, accusing them again on being soft on terrorists because they are grumbling about Iraq will backfire. We all know that Iraq has some terrorists but mostly Sunni insurgents pissed that the US has helped the Shiites take over. Are you telling me that we can't leave Iraq until all the terrorists are killed? Doesn't wash.

Bush has been used to riding the wave of fear and anxiety caused by 911 and a country looking for leadership. But those days are gone.

What we want Mr. President is a plan for Iraq, a time table, a way for us to tell when the mission is complete. If that calls for troops withdraw next year, great. If we have to stay for two more years, then let us know.

Please, Mr. President, give us a plan.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Familyman Struggles to Understand the SCOTUS

This is a series in which familyman tries to understand the SCOTUS and Roe v. Wade.

Originalism is a method of understanding the Constitution by understanding the intent of the founding fathers.

Well, after a little research, I'm here to say that Originalism is hokum, or more precisely, deciding SCOTUS cases exclusively through originalism as Scalia and Thomas claim, is a fraud.

Originalism is, in the words of Robert Bork from an opinion piece in the Sunday, Oct 23 San Diego Union, " ...means that the judge must discern from the relevant materials – debates at the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers, newspaper accounts of the time, debates in the state ratifying conventions, and the like – the principles the ratifiers understood themselves to be enacting. The remainder of the task is to apply those principles to unforeseen circumstances, a task that law performs all the time."

Makes sense to me. Certainly the intention of the FFs when writing the Constitution is important, but being exclusively orignalist is like trying to drive a modern car with the skills from a Model A. Sure, some things apply, steering wheel and a gas pedal, but start the damned thing.

Originalism is a fraud for two reasons.

First, the intent of Originalism is to create a standard approach to interpretation in which to make judgments about the Constitution. This is done through understanding the times, contexts and subtexts of the debate that occurred while writing the original Constitution. But I would argue that the context and history of the Constitutional debate is as much in the eye of the interpreter as any other method of constitutional interpretation, which is the very thing Orginalists hate about other interpretive methods. And what's more, like a sheep in wolves clothing, Originalism pretends to be historical science.

The second fraud Originalism suffers is the same fraud of Orginalists interpretation of the Bible or the Ten Commandments, that rules written 200 years ago or 2000 years ago can be easily transferred to the extremely complex issues of the twenty-first century. This is simply a childish (I can see Scalia stomping his feet now) yearning for simpler times when interpreting right and wrong was much more black and white then it is today. Really, you burned people at the stake and blacks were slaves.
Originalism is certainly an important tool for a Justice to have in his/her tool belt, but if its the only, tool, the justice is limited in the job they can do...and maybe that is the idea.

Better for a Justice to be originalists, use stari decisis, and try to do what is good for people through the law.

But Familyman, that is soooo naive.