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The Donnybrook
Friday, May 28, 2004
I'm Not Sure How To Categorize This One...

So I guess I'll just say it's funny how conservatives reacted when Bill Clinton took any steps against Saddam Hussein or Al-Qaeda..."Wag the Dog" anyone?

This one absolutely put me on the floor...

"Instead of putting off the impeachment vote, the House should have voted to impeach him that very day. A President who uses his duties as Commander in Chief to bomb foreign countries every time he wants to change the subject ought to be removed with alacrity," according to Ann Coulter (Human Events, 12/25/98, p. 6).

It was also interested to see who actually voiced some level of support for Clinton during this time:


The New York Times (12/18/98, p. A20) reported that "Under criticism from both parties, Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the majority leader, backed away from his charge that the strikes were linked to impeachment. After overnight reflection, he said, ‘I am satisfied this was a military decision.’...

"A parade of Republican Senators — including John McCain of Arizona, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, John W. Warner of Virginia and Jesse Helms of North Carolina — voiced support for the President's decision to strike now. All are prominent party spokesmen on defense and foreign policy matters."

Then there's this gem:


Joe Farah points out in his Between the Lines (12/18/98) that "As president, Bill Clinton has...squandered $5.5 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars on containing the Iraqi threat — and that's before the costly Desert Fox operation launched Wednesday. On Wednesday alone, some 200 cruise missiles were fired by the Navy at Iraqi targets. Each one of those high-tech bombs cost about $1 million. that's $200 million right there, just on ordnance, in one day...."

How much is this war costing us???

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Say Hello To Pollkatz...

Here's an awesome resource with some really cool graphics with regards to the political landscape...

Also, here's a map that illustrates our fractured political landscape in pretty humorous detail.


Kerry Trouncing Bush With McCain Or Edwards as VP Pick...

To be honest, I think the best news to come out of this poll is that head-to-head John Kerry is beating Bush by 8 points.

That being said, it's intriguing that the margin swells to 14 points if John McCain is the VP pick. The most likely VP pick, John Edwards, brings the margin to 10 points.

All the McCain talk is just that, talk. It's not going to happen, and truth be told, I don't think I'd want it to happen. There are plenty of terrific options within the Democratic party to choose from: Edwards, Clark, Landrieu, Bayh, Levin, Rendell, to name just a few.

Now if Senator McCain decided to leave the Republican party and become a Democrat, then all bets would probably be off...

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Kerry Crushing Bush In Battleground States...

Since the ever-brilliant and not-at-all outdated Electoral College dictates that in any given election, a handful of states decide who our President will be, it's important to look at the polls very closely in the so-called battleground states.

Pollster John Zogby shows John Kerry leading in 12 of the 16 battleground states including 2000's hotbed, Florida, and 2004's expected hotbed, Ohio.

Take a look at the figures. This coupled with Bush's 41% approval rating should give conservatives cold sweats...At least for a few weeks.

Monday, May 24, 2004
Bush Vs. The Bike

Given last year's Segway incident, you'd think Dubya would stay the hell away from any wheeled conveyance that he actually has to control himself.

But alas, he outdid himself by doing a faceplant after falling off his bike this weekend. Luckily, he landed on his head and avoided affecting any organs he needs to govern effectively.

In a way, he's lucky the 4 major TV networks won't be covering his "big speech" tonight. Seeing visible proof that our Commander-in-chief is a klutz probably wouldn't help his 41% approval rating...

On a more serious note, could this bicycle incident end up being Dubya's answer to his old man yakking on the Prime Minister of Japan? After all, that incident cemented in the public's mind the reality that Bush, Sr. was a complete dud...

Why Does Newt Gingrich Hate America?

Speaking on ABC's This Week, Newt took on the mantle of the "Blame America First" crowd by condemning the US raid on Chalabi's office. Oh, when will a generous soul like Zell Miller step up and call out Mr. Gingrich for giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war?

It is utterly inexplicable how Americans could have raided his home without having informed the Governing Council, which by the way has unanimously repudiated the raid.

It's also good to see Newt carrying water for a criminal scumbag like Chalabi...

The beat goes on...

Friday, May 21, 2004
Questions About Ahmed Chalabi That Need To Be Asked...

Now that Bush's pal Ahmed Chalabi is being outed as being essentially a spy for the Iranian fundamentalist regime, it's important to take a step back and ask where the hell he got these "secrets" that he's apparently given to another member of the Axis of Evil...

From Talking Points Memo:

Here are some questions you might want to ask.

Where did he get the intelligence to leak?
Who gave Chalabi the leaked classified information?
Was it lawful to provide Chalabi with classified USG military information that included such things as where our troops were and what they were doing?
Who is under investigation as a result of the intercepts of the Iranians discussing the intelligence provided by Chalabi?
Who are the investigators?
Has this been referred to the Department of Justice?
Did his provision of that information to Iran result in the death of US soldiers in Shi'ia areas?
Are the intel leaks the reason for the raids of Chalabi's home?
Are the intel leaks the reason they cut off his income?
Why did the USG say that Chalabi was not a "target" of the raids on his home? (It's possible other members of his family are the ones who are being used directly to provide the intel to Iran.)

Awesome Quote By James Carville...

You know back in 2000 a Republican friend of mine warned me that if I voted
for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we'd lose millions of
jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched.
You know what? I did vote for Al Gore, he did win, and I'll be damned if all
those things didn't come true.


Cheesy GOP Tactic In Play In Illinois...

Barack Obama is a popular up-and-comer in the Democratic Party in Illinois. So much so that he running for (and expected to win) the state's open US Senate seat in November. Naturally, his opponent, Republican Jack Ryan wants to keep an eye on Obama. Unfortunately, his method for doing so is by assigning a stalker to follow Obama everywhere...

SPRINGFIELD -- For the past 10 days, U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama hasn't been able to go to the bathroom or talk to his wife on his cell phone without having a camera-toting political gofer from his Republican rival filming a few feet away.

In what has to be a first in Illinois politics, Republican Jack Ryan has assigned one of his campaign workers to record every movement and every word of the state senator while he is in public.

That means Justin Warfel, armed with a handheld Panasonic digital camcorder, follows Obama to the bathroom door and waits outside. It means Warfel follows Obama as he moves from meeting to meeting in the Capitol. And it means Warfel tails Obama when he drives to his campaign office.

Don't Republicans normally decry such Big Brother-esque tactics?

The GOP Is A Big Tent Party, Indeed...

...that is unless you're a GAY Republican. If you are, then the North Carolina Republican Party is asking you to keep your gay self with all your gayness at home during their state convention.

The North Carolina Republican Party is refusing to let the Log Cabin Republicans set up a booth at this weekend's state convention -- a move that has prompted complaints from the homosexual group that says it stands for "fairness, inclusion, and tolerance in the GOP."

"Log Cabin Republicans believe that at a time when our country is at war, we ought to be bringing Republicans together, not dividing them, and certainly not excluding them from their own state convention," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero in a statement on the group's website.

This part amazes me, since I never thought I'd live to see the day a Republican would turn away money...

Ed Farthing, a North Carolina Log Cabin Republican, said he purchased a table at the NC state convention on behalf of the group in early April.

But N.C. GOP Chairman Ferrell Blount recently returned the money, along with what the Log Cabin Republicans called "a lengthy vitriolic letter" that said the group could not have a table after all.

"To flip-flop and refuse to allow loyal Republicans a seat at their own convention is petty and short sighted," Farthing said in the statement on the Log Cabin website.

Blount's letter reportedly said that "homosexuality is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable 'alternative' lifestyle." He also said the North Carolina Republican Party and the Log Cabin Republicans "do not seem to share the same agenda."

Being a gay Republican is looking more and more like being a Jewish Nazi every day...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
New Poll Puts North Carolina In Play...If Edwards Is VP Pick

Good news for Edwards supporters here and across the country. I think he'd be a great pick not only for this but to provide a contrast in styles from the more stoic John Kerry. And even if Kerry doesn't win NC, at least he would force Bush to spend a good deal of money here. (Thanks, Winston!)

If the presidential election were held this month, North Carolinians would choose President Bush over Sen. John Kerry in large numbers - unless Sen. John Edwards was on the ticket, too, according to a new statewide poll.

Bush handily beat Kerry 48 percent to 41 percent in a Mason-Dixon poll released yesterday.

But with Edwards as Kerry's vice-presidential running mate, the race tightens to a statistical dead heat - 46 percent to 45 percent.

Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee and the junior senator from Massachusetts, has given few hints about his choice of a running mate.

A running mate's potential to capture electoral votes is often one of many factors that a presidential nominee considers. In that regard, the poll could increase Edwards' chance at being picked, said J. Bradford Coker, the managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc.

Monday, May 17, 2004
Ohio Plant Used By Bush as Proof of Economic Success Shuts Down

I hope the Shrub never makes his way down Westchase Boulevard!

From Counterspin:

"Timken is slashing a quarter of its employees in Canton, and as workers facing layoffs consider their future, the ripple effect is already beginning.

"How can I afford to get married, afford a house payment, maybe kids, if I don't have a job?" said Timken employee Shawn Higgins.

Timken is Canton's biggest employer, and it is reported that 1,300 jobs are to be cut. Former Mayor Richard Watkins, who led the city for 12 years, knows how enormous the impact of such a downsizing can be.

"It isn't just about Timken," said Watkins. "Other jobs are affected. If (people) can't spend money, the smaller entrepreneur won't be able to stay in business."

Ironically, it was a little more than a year ago when President George W. Bush visited Timken's world headquarters heralding his tax cut and job creation plan. Now this very company's job cuts will be a major blow to the economy in Canton."

Hypocrisy from the 2000 Republican Party Platform

A huge thanks to DailyKos for this bit of research...

The following quotes are drawn from the Republican Party Platform at the 2000 convention:

"The arrogance, inconsistency, and unreliability of the administration's diplomacy have undermined American alliances, alienated friends, and emboldened our adversaries." [ed. this is referring to Clinton's administration]

"Gerrymandered congressional districts are an affront to democracy and an insult to the voters. We oppose that and any other attempt to rig the electoral process."

"Nor should the intelligence community be made the scapegoat for political misjudgments. A Republican administration working with the Congress will respect the needs and quiet sacrifices of these public servants as it strengthens America's intelligence and counter-intelligence capabilities and reorients them toward the dangers of the future."

Read it for yourselves. It's a riot!

Friday, May 14, 2004
Police Union Rejects Bush, Backs Kerry

A terrific endorsement to go along with the backing of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

``After three and a half years of disappointing leadership under George Bush, we need to change course in November and elect a president with a real record of supporting police officers and a lifetime of standing with law enforcement,'' IBPO President David Holway said in a statement provided by the Kerry campaign.

Also, before any conservatives start bashing these pinko commies for defecting to the dark side, have a look at Free Republic circa 2000:


Looks like the police officers know who will stand with them and have turned their back on almost eight years of Clinton/Gore!

A Rummy Double Shot

First, while speaking in a town hall meeting with troops in Baghdad, the embattled Mr. Rumsfeld proudly announces that:

"It's a fact. I'm a survivor."

Sure, Rummy. They're the ones dying because of your incompetence, but YOU? You're the survivor...

Next, from the (cough, cough) New York Post (I feel dirty), we see an op-ed piece calling for the resignation of said survivor.

Contractors grow rich. The Army grows exhausted. And every single prediction about the future of warfare made by the Rumsfeld gang proved incorrect. Airpower doesn't win wars on its own. Technology doesn't trump courage, guts and skill. Both war and its aftermath still require adequate numbers of well-trained, disciplined troops. And serious planning.

We need a bigger Army. We got a bigger budget - but the money is going to CEOs, not to G.I. Joe.

Outsourcing? We see now where that gets us. In Rumsfeld's military, you even outsource leadership. As we did at Abu Ghraib prison.

Even if none of the above mattered, Rumsfeld needs to go because he has utterly lost the trust of the officer corps. He isn't a leader. He's an arrogant ideologue unfit to serve our democracy.

On camera, in a Pentagon briefing room or at a carefully orchestrated, neo-Soviet visit to the troops he so despises, Rumsfeld surrounds himself with yes-men and sycophants. But just ask the combat generals in private what they think of Donald Rumsfeld.

Then for good measure, Mr. Peters pulls out the heavy artillery:

I'm privileged to spend a good bit of time with our military officers, from generals to new lieutenants. And I have never seen such distrust of a public official in the senior ranks. Not even of Bill Clinton. Rumsfeld & Co. have trashed our ground forces every way they could. Only the quality of those in uniform saved us from a debacle in Iraq.

Please, sign the petition...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Why Kerry Isn't Capitalizing...Yet...

An op-ed in the New York Times raises a very strong point about why Kerry hasn't been able to gain more ground given Bush's plummetting approval ratings...

The real reason that Mr. Kerry is making so little progress is that voters are now focused almost exclusively on the president. This is typical: as an election approaches, voters first decide whether the incumbent deserves re-election; only later do they think about whether it is worth taking a chance on the challenger. There is no reason to expect a one-to-one relationship between public disaffection with the incumbent and an immediate surge in public support for his challenger.

We saw the same dynamic in the 1980 race. President Jimmy Carter's favorable rating in the Gallup surveys sank from 56 percent in January to 38 percent in June, yet he still led Ronald Reagan in Gallup's horse-race measures. For much of the rest of the campaign, voters who disapproved of Mr. Carter couldn't decide whether Mr. Reagan was an acceptable alternative. Through the summer and early fall, the lead changed back and forth, and CBS/New York Times and Gallup polls showed conflicting results — at one point in August, Gallup found Mr. Reagan ahead of President Carter by 16 percentage points, yet just two weeks later it registered a dead heat. It was not until the two men held a televised debate eight days before the election that Ronald Reagan gained legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate.

Similarly, in May 1992 President George H. W. Bush had only a 37 percent approval rating according to a Times Mirror Center survey, but the same poll showed him with a modest lead, 46 percent to 43 percent, over Bill Clinton. Only the Democratic convention and the debates brought about an acceptance of Mr. Clinton (even though his negative ratings were higher than Mr. Kerry's are now). It took a long time for him to be seen as an acceptable alternative to Mr. Bush.

This should be a decent salve to the gloom-and-doomers on my side of the aisle...

President Bush Won't Go To His Daughters' Graduations...

...but he will go to 3 other commencements. Where are they, you ask?

...he will give a commencement address at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and at Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin.

Now, the Air Force Academy, I won't take issue with. But LSU and Concordia? Colleges in (say it with me now) battleground states???

Conservatives talk so much about their commitment to "family values", you'd think this move would raise a few eyebrows.

When our nation's so-called poster boy for "moral clarity" forgoes his own childrens' graduations and instead opts for political photo ops, what hope is there for the rest of us???

Monday, May 10, 2004
Should Pro-Choice Republicans Be Able To Take Communion?

Atrios raises a very strong point in the Catholic Church's stand against (Democratic) pro-choice politicians:

No word on the wine and wafer consuming activities of Messrs. Ridge, Pataki, Schwarzenegger, and Santorum (who supported the pro-choice Specter).

Go ahead and add Rudy Giuliani to that list...

I really feel like the Catholic Church should spend more time on their own problems (hint, hint) than leading anti-Democratic witchhunts.

UPDATE: Gadflyer tackles this subject in much greater detail.

Friday, May 7, 2004
Iranian Gas Attack Victims Vow to Take U.S. to Court

I'll paraphrase the great comedian Lewis Black here:

"How many whiskey sours would you have to be down to be sitting in a bar next to Saddam Hussein and say 'Oooh, you're a snuggy bear, we're gonna get you some nerve gas.'?"

Conservatives will instictively spout lines about Saddam "gassing his own people" when they lose their place justifying the war in Iraq, but as usual, context means nothing to them.

They never mention that Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Sr., and Donald Rumsfeld brokered the deal that got Saddam those chemical weapons. You'll never hear the current President Bush mention this when he inevitably spins himself into a corner at a press conference.

You'll also never hear that a bi-partisan action of Congress (co-sponsored by Jesse Helms and Al Gore) would have imposed sanctions on Hussein for using chemical weapons. You also won't hear that President Reagan VETOED this action.

So now, Iranian survivors of these gas attacks want to take legal action against the U.S. for supplying a nutjob with chemical weapons. Can't blame them really...

If I had a crazy neighbor and a friend of his/hers gave him/her a flamethrower which said crazy neighbor then used to burn down my house, I assume I'd be pretty pissed if I managed to make it out alive...

Thursday, May 6, 2004
Bush Approval on Iraq, Economy, and Terrorism at Low Points

Perhaps the most damning part of the poll is this:

The poll finds 36% of Americans satisfied with the way things are going in the United States, while 62% are dissatisfied. These figures represent a five percentage-point drop since April, and are 19 points lower than an early January reading.

Bush's job approval is at 49%, while his approval on the economy is 41%, and on foreign affairs is 42%. His approval on terrorism is at an all-time low of 52%.

As far as the Presidential race goes, Kerry and Bush are currently tied at 47%, even though Bush has burned through a ton of money already. Kerry is just starting to run ads...

Here's a very important piece of data from the election numbers:

...in the "purple" or battleground states, where Gore or Bush won in 2000 by five percentage points or less, Kerry leads Bush among likely voters by 48% to 44%. This marks a change from Gallup's last poll in which the two candidates were tied at 49% each in these states.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
The Flyers and My Brother Give Me An Awesome Birthday Gift...

The Flyers survived and advanced last night 3-2 in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sorry Leafs fans, that'll be 37 years without a Cup. As opposed to our 28, that is...

As if that weren't awesome enough, my brother is flying me down to Tampa for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Flyers and Lightning. Niiiiiiiiice...

Happy Cinco de Mayo and Happy Birthday to me!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Watch Fox News, It's Easier Than Thinking!

So say Vice President Dick Cheney and Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed. Well, they don't actually say that, but it's pretty damn close!

CHENEY: It's easy to complain about the press -- I've been doing it for a good part of my career... It's part of what goes with a free society. What I do is try to focus upon those elements of the press that I think do an effective job and try to be accurate in their portrayal of events. For example, I end up spending a lot of time watching Fox News, because they're more accurate in my experience, in those events that I'm personally involved in, than many of the other outlets.

REED: I get in the car in the morning and listen to Rush Limbaugh. On the way home, I listen to Sean Hannity. At night I watch Fox News.

Of course Cheney and Reed omit this little nugget...

Media Matters for America recently commissioned a poll conducted by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group. Among the findings was that FOX News Channel viewers disproportionately hold inaccurate or false views. "Among daily viewers of FOX News Channel, 72 percent say there is strong evidence about Iraq's possession of WMD and development of nuclear weapons, while only 44 percent of those who watch FOX infrequently say that this statement is true," the poll found.

Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, everybody! It's so sweet and delicious and it makes my mind up for me!

Monday, May 3, 2004
CNN's Veepstakes Elimination Bracket

I've often thought that the world would be a much better place if all important events were more like the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Well, the good people @ CNN got my karmic message and our introducing their 2004 Veepstakes Bracket.

There are four brackets: Southern, Battleground, Gravitas, and Women.

This is an awesome idea. As their site notes, in 1996 this process yielded Jack Kemp as the running mate to Bob Dole. Good one. In 2000, this process chose John Kerry as Al Gore's running mate instead of Joe"mentum" Lieberman...Don't even get me started...

The field of 32 will be winnowed (their word, not mine) down to just one...



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