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Capital gains

Let’s give a big Le Blog Bérubé welcome to Senator McCaskill from the great state of Missouri; Senator Brown from the great state of Ohio; Senator Whitehouse from the great state of Rhode Island; and Senator Casey from my own great, if sometimes confused, state of Pennsylvania.  And don’t worry, Senator-to-be Webb of Virginia (currently up by 7845 votes of 2.3 million cast) and Senator-to-be Tester of Montana (up by 1735 of 400,000): we’ll keep your seats nice and warm for you.

Let’s also have a hearty round of applause for Speaker Pelosi, and committee chairs like Charlie Rangel, Henry Waxman, John Conyers, and John Dingell!  Which race was your favorite?  There are so many to choose from, but here at home, Joe Sestak over Crazy Curt Weldon in the 7th district and Jason Altmire over Melissa Hart in the 4th are very pleasant.  On the other hand, Jim Gerlach (Pennsylvania 6th), Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado 4th), and Jean Schmidt (Scary Tennis Ball 2nd) appear to have narrowly survived this round.  Let’s not let that happen again, team.  But thanks to everyone for all their hard work on the ground and in the blogosphere!  It’s a great feeling.  You know, the last time the House was controlled by reasonably sane people, Jamie was only three years old.

And all it took was the Abramoff scandal, the Foley scandal, the Haggard scandal, the suspension of habeas corpus, the creation of the Cheney Archipelago of secret torture sites, a criminally incompetent response to one of the worst natural disasters in US history, and a hopeless war that has killed thousands of US troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and may well go down as the single worst foreign policy blunder in the history of the republic.  I can’t wait for ‘08!

Oh, and one more thing, just so I don’t end on that sour note.  Last night I was reminded of two things: one, watching televised political coverage makes me break out in weeping boils.  Candy “Green Tea” Crowley alone would do it, but when she’s combined with the bloviations of Bill Bennett (who was lamenting Pennsylvanians’ inability to understand the virtues of that good, good man, Rick Santorum) I find myself rolling around on the floor and tearing the upper layers of skin from my arms.  And that makes the boils burst, and that just makes a mess.

Two, I couldn’t help noticing that every GOP shill had been programmed by the Central Committee to say that the President’s party always loses seats in a sixth-year midterm.  Which is true as a general rule, of course, and was especially true in 1974 (49-seat swing, cough Watergate cough), 1966 (47-seat swing, taking this as LBJ’s second term), and 1958 (48-seat swing).  (The 1938 midterm was especially intense, a 72-seat swing, but since the Dems were working with a 334-88 lead, they retained the House by a large margin anyway.  Ah, the days when gerrymandering hadn’t yet become a science.) Strangely, though, the party in control of the White House in 1998 actually gained five seats.  Nobody pointed that out.  I wonder why.

Posted by on 11/08 at 10:08 AM
  1. "Ah, the days when gerrymandering hadn’t yet become a science.”

    Most of the real analysis I’ve seen, as opposed to anecdotal complaints or analysis from imaginary data, has rather convincingly shown that gerrymandering isn’t really that big of a factor in the phenomenon you imply here.  What _is_ a big factor is the money advantage held by incumbents.

    Prospects for 2008 will hinge largely on the actual candidates involved - at this point, I would call McCain vs. Clinton a Republican landslide, with substantial “coattails” and disastrous consequences for Democrats. The rest will hinge on how the new Democratic majorities handle themselves - if they fritter everything away on show trials of the Bush Administration, no matter how well deserved, then they’re dead in ‘08.  That is, after all, part of the reason the Republicans did so badly, compared to historical expectations, in ‘98.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  11:46 AM
  2. Tony Barr didn’t manage to upset legacy Congressman Bill Shuster (he inherited from his dad) in my district (just south of you) but, for someone with no organization and minimal support from the Democratic Party’s powers-that-be, Tony did surprisingly well.

    I was quite happy to see that John Hall beat Sue Kelly in New York, in a district just above the City. 

    captcha: “bad” as in “We bad,” says Nancy Pelosi.

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  11/08  at  11:48 AM
  3. I love the new robo-Repub spin: this is a triumph of conservatism!  I predict that the fringe-leftist blogs will join in with approximately one week of silence followed by attacks stating that the non-appearance of everything that they ever wanted means that the two parties are no different after all.

    Meanwhile, for real liberals, I suggest that we start writing legislation.  Semi-seriously, most legislation is written by people not in Congress; by industry lobbyists for the Repubs, and by interest groups for the Dems.  Start thinking about what you’d really like to see.  Divide them into things that might really pass and things that won’t, but are good markers for what you really want.

    And be sure to include anything that stomps on GOP interests while you’re at it.  If there was ever a time to kick someone while they are down to make sure that they never get up, this is it.  Or rather, the GOP that eventually gets up has to be a moderate right instead of a radical right party.  That can be done by seperating them from their institutional sources of power.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  11:51 AM
  4. And the award for best political strategy goes to...Howard Dean, who told the insiders that running against the Iraq War II was a good thing--and that having a 50 state strategy means you can take advantage of opportunities, such as the odious blowhard JD Hayworth (R-AZ), who gloriously lost last night.

    Hmmm...maybe the Dems could rewrite districts the way the Reeps in Texas did a couple of years ago.  That would be fun!

    Posted by mitchell freedman  on  11/08  at  11:58 AM
  5. Michael, I have voted for Lois Murphy against Gerlach the last 2 elections (’04 and ‘06). We need somebody else to run against him - how about you?

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  12:06 PM
  6. I always have depressing election days, living here in TX. And while I’m glad Lampson picked up Delay’s old seat, I know it was at least partly because the Republicans screwed it up so badly and had to run a write-in candidate. Lampson’s real contest will be in two years…

    And yet--in my district for state rep, we kicked out phony “moderate” Republican Martha Wong and replaced her with liberal--let me say that again, LIBERAL--Ellen Cohen.

    Dems picked up 4 (possibly 5) seats and lost none. I’m pretty sure the same thing happened last time. The state is still hard-core Republican on state races, but when it comes to local races, the GOP is having trouble running the same old incompetents and crooks. Texans are realizing that their state reps are idiots and tools, and the Lege’s only accomplishment in the past few years has been to stop the menace of teh gay marriage.

    The upshot is, not only am I able to rejoice day for our country, I am even able to rejoice for my own little corner of Texas.

    Posted by RWB  on  11/08  at  12:13 PM
  7. My fave races, you ask?  Nationally, your very own Senate race.  I was hoping to hear the phrase, “and Santorum just got spanked!” on NPR, but that was too much to hope for, so I just kept repeating it to my glass of wine, smilingly.

    Here in MN, Dem hopeful sympathetic-mother-of-abducted-child-but-hopelessly-inept-candidate Patty Wetterling lost to Stepford Michele Bachmann in the most publicized (and expensive) race.  So that one’s right out.  But under the radar and out of the blue, high-school science teacher Tim Walz upset multi-term incumbent Gil Gutkencht by a healthy 6-point margin.  That’s my fave.  Although Klobuchar’s 20-point can of whupass on Mark “I love Bush/I’m not Bushie’s boy” Kennedy was pretty satisfying.  Just not as surprising.

    captcha: “eye,” as in “out, vile jelly!”

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  12:16 PM
  8. Isn’t Pennsylvania a Commonwealth?  Not sure on the difference, actually, but people from Virgina seem to think it’s a big deal.  Not that I’m picking on Virgina-- along with Ohio it was one of the happiest surprises I had last night.

    I agree that Dean should get big props here-- although I doubt he will.  Howard seems capable of learning from past mistakes, and one of the things he learned is that mobilizing turnout matters.  I couldn’t be happier that the turnout nationally more closely resembled a presidential year than a mere off-year-- one of the troubling things about American democracy in my lifetime has been that the majority of eligible voters are so estranged from the process that they decline to participate.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if that continued into ‘08?

    I think we are going to hear a lot about Iraq, and ethics scandals, but maybe the fact that the last two Presidential elections were as close as they were has convinced people that their vote really does mean something.  Generally people are unhappy with Congress, but like their guy-- this time it seems like a lot of people came out to vote against incumbents-- and even in races like Western New York’s 26th District, where the odious Reynolds ultimately prevailed, turnout was high, and the margin was thin.  Very interesting-- this was not an election that seems to me to be characterized by dislike and alienation.  I’d say it looked more like people taking responsibility for their own government.

    Posted by Bill Altreuter  on  11/08  at  12:33 PM
  9. I can sympathize, RWB. Wyoming is often considered the second most conservative state, right behind Utah, and elections are generally a painful experience for lefties here. Interestingly enough, however, we re-elected Democrat “Gov. Dave,” and Gary Trauner gave Barbara Cubin (motto: “I Love Me Some Energy Companies") a serious run for the lone House seat. That race is still too close to call.

    Wyoming. Might send. A Democrat. To the House.

    Excuse me while I weep with joy.

    Posted by Trout  on  11/08  at  12:37 PM
  10. It was indeed nice to see Weldon go down after so long (I used to live in that district when Bob Edgar was our man), and I would, out of common courtesy, advise soon-to-be-ex-Senator Santorum not to allow the door to strike him on the rear as he exits.

    However, I was disappointed to see the pride of Florida, Katherine Harris, lose by less than 50 percent.

    Capcha: “party”

    Posted by Dave M  on  11/08  at  12:39 PM
  11. Michael, I have voted for Lois Murphy against Gerlach the last 2 elections (’04 and ‘06). We need somebody else to run against him - how about you??

    OK!  Except that I’m stuck here in the 5th district with Peterson, whose platform consists entirely of natural gas.  Seriously:  ask him about Iraq, he’ll say we need natural gas.  Ask him about the minimum wage, he’ll say we need natural gas.  Katrina?  Wouldn’t have happened with natural gas.

    Anyone have any tips on how I can challenge this guy?  And don’t say “natural gas.”

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  12:41 PM
  12. Is there any such thing as unnatural gas?  Could you run on a “natural solid” platform?

    (My favorite race was Welch vs. Rainville in VT.)

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  12:55 PM
  13. Anyone have any tips on how I can challenge this guy?  And don’t say “natural gas.”

    “While my opponent floods the air with natural gas, I’d clearly be a good match for the district.”

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  01:16 PM
  14. Both Stem Cell initiative and Claire McCaskill won in my state, Missouri.

    The victory of the bill to repeal the abortion ban in South Dakota is also very good news.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  01:17 PM
  15. Intestinal gas?

    Or Gas-X?

    Posted by Orange  on  11/08  at  01:19 PM
  16. My home state’s senate race was not particularly exciting, although we did have a particularly close house race not in my district (McNerney vs. Pombo)--in fact, I still don’t think they’ve called it. The secretary of state race--also not yet called--I’m reading as a referendum of sorts on electronic voting without a paper trail (Debra Bowen was specifically running on electoral reform).

    Emotionally, though, I’m still a midwesterner, so in between checking up on ballot propositions (how many years in a row will Californians be voting on parental notification?), I was watching the Bachman-Wetterling race in MN. I actually find Michele Bachman verging on Santorum-level scary, and I don’t know whether to be grateful that she’s no longer my problem or sorry that I can’t do anything about her.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  01:28 PM
  17. Run on a global climate change / local development platform.  I don’t even want to try to figure out where your district is, but here’s a wind resource map of Pennsylvania.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  01:28 PM
  18. Rachel, Pombo is headed back to private life.  You may commence the happy dance right now, because he was among the very worst.  And Michelle Bachmann is, if anything, even loonier than Santorum.  She actually believes that cherubim wake her up every morning and that God makes the toaster work.  Don’t quote me on that, though.

    Bob Y, congrats on Amendment 2!  And your newly Talentless Senate delegation.

    And Rich, I’m liking my prospects in a wind v. gas race.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  01:36 PM
  19. And the award for best political strategy goes to...Howard Dean, who told the insiders that running against the Iraq War II was a good thing--and that having a 50 state strategy means you can take advantage of opportunities, such as the odious blowhard JD Hayworth (R-AZ), who gloriously lost last night.

    Yes, props to Dr. Dean!

    Being in NY, the outcomes here were as expected, although it’s interesting that Governor-elect Spitzer’s margin of victory was higher than incumbent Senator Clinton’s.

    Favorites? I am very happy that Weldon and Santorum are gone, gone, gone.

    And thank you, South Dakota and Missouri. Rational heads prevailed.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  01:39 PM
  20. I have to say, my favorite race was probably your own Santorum going down in flames.  Sweet, sweet Schadenfreude…

    Maybe next week (or perhaps even tomorrow) you could do our favorite conservative attempt at spin.  I nominate David Brooks:

    “I’m a conservative. Many people I know and admire lost tonight. And yet somehow this strikes me as a good night for the country.”

    Hmmm, somehow, me too…

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  01:54 PM
  21. How about John Hall from Orleans (the 70’s group-"still the one") beating Susan Kelley (R) upstate NY?

    Thats a great win!

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:09 PM
  22. favorite? just one? too close to call. santorum losing, mccaskill winning, both of those made me dance in my living room. but the phrase i can’t get tired of cuz i volunteered for this campaign way back before the primary and cuz it was finally time for mass. dems to run a decent gubernatorial candidate, is “governor elect deval patrick.” i just keep saying it and grinning.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:12 PM
  23. Greetings from Vermont, fabled land of mostly civil campaigns, where we elected a Debsian socialist to the U.S. Senate and a liberal Democrat to the House, re-elected a moderate Republican governor and a conservative Republican Lt. Gov. I’ve lived here since I was 10, nearly a half century (that still pegs me as being from away) but I still can’t figure us out. The losing Senate candidate was the state’s richest man, a moderate republican who spent about $100 per vote out of his own pocket, to lose by a two-to-one margin to Bernie Sanders, the wild-eyed commie. Cool.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:14 PM
  24. So who does Bushco pick to replace Rummy?? None other than unindicted co-conspirator, pardoned and freed, felon wannabe, Robert Gates of Iran-Contra fame.  A close friend of poppy Bush, Dickass Cheney, Karl the malevolent Rove, and the other melange of vile and heinous beasts who have violated all of our constitutional rights and set about destroying millions of lives across the planet.  We can only hope that the new Senate will reject this same old evil wine as the acidic vinegar it is.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:18 PM
  25. Thanks to Rush for alienating so many so close to the end and also to Mark Halperin for redefinig “craven” at the last possible second.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:18 PM
  26. Quoting Professor Bérubé:

    She actually believes that cherubim wake her up every morning and that God makes the toaster work.  Don’t quote me on that, though.

    Oh, now, I don’t believe that of Ms. Bachmann.  I think “cherubim” is much too hard a word for her.

    Hey, I live in Connecticut.  I’m taking my cheap shots where I can.  [Weeps uncontrollably]

    [Stops weeping]

    On the other hand, hooray, Chris Murphy!  (Yes, we had to get in on the Murphy schtick, too.)

    [Resumes what has been revealed to be quite controllable weeping]

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:24 PM
  27. We can only hope that the new Senate will reject this same old evil wine as the acidic vinegar it is.

    Well, rejecting Gates is unlikely, since they’ll probably ramp up to get him confirmed during the lame duck session.  If not, a new Democratic Senate will demonstrate bipartisan harmony by approving him.  If not, a newer Republican Senate will demonstrate bipartisan harmony by approving Joe Lieberman instead, once Republican Governor Rell has picked his replacement.

    Why, yes, I did get turned down by the local chapter of the Optimist Club.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:28 PM
  28. You and my literary agent both, mtt—happy Deval Patrick volunteers, unite!  I’m also fond of New York’s new lieutenant governor, as well.

    As for Mark “Wormtongue” Halperin:  I don’t think he redefined “craven” so much as took it to a Whole Nother Level.

    So who does Bushco pick to replace Rummy?? None other than unindicted co-conspirator, pardoned and freed, felon wannabe, Robert Gates of Iran-Contra fame.

    This is an outrage, spyder!  I demand that Henry Kissinger be offered the position without delay.

    And oh yeah, let’s have a moment of sorrow for the fact that we still have to look at this guy in the halls of the Galactic Senate:

    palp.jpg

    I wonder what’s next for him?

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:33 PM
  29. Ah, I see that mds jumped the gun on the Moment of Sorrow.  Carry on, then.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:35 PM
  30. "You did a heckuva job, Rummy!”

    captcha: “hell” as in “heckuva”

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  11/08  at  02:40 PM
  31. The local races here proved to be a wonderful revelation with regards to which direction this largely, conservative-based population maybe moving.  Unfortunately, they kept a useless marionette for Congress; good news though is McMorris (or as she is officially reported in the CongRec: McMorris-Rodgers, yet she somehow never admits that), who ran on lies about both her own record and her opponents, will be impotent, since her puppet masters Pombo-Foley-Ney (she was a member of the whip team and Pombo’s anti-environment pawn) are gone gone gone.  Otherwise, liberal and progressive state representatives, senators, county and city council, judges, et al were swept into office in this region.  Also most of the terrible initiatives were throttled hugely. These alone are worth more optimism than the usual nihilistic GNF joys.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  02:47 PM
  32. CA-11: Jerry McNerney beating crazy-evil Richard Pombo is huge for the whole country because:

    Pombo’s high-profile as chairman of the powerful House Resources Committee. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups targeted him as an “eco-thug” who once proposed selling off some national parks, led the drive to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, wants to let states drill for oil and gas off their coasts, and has pushed to revamp the Endangered Species Act to provide more rights for property owners.

    Also, the CA Secretary of State race won by Debra Bowen was huge. Finally we’ll have someone running the elections who’s standing strong against all the problems with the damn electronic voting machines. And what CA does regarding the electronic voting machines will likely have a big influence nation wide. 

    Captcha: “building”, as in, Yesterday we moved toward building a better America. Everything needs to be just perfect for when the GNF arrives.

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  11/08  at  03:18 PM
  33. Uh, yeah - about that… How does this affect the WAAGNFN party?

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  03:24 PM
  34. My faves:

    Democratic newcomer Kirsten Gillibrand “beating” wife-beater John Sweeney in NY’s 20th Congressional District.

    Phil Kline (the guy who leaks the medical records of women who have had abortions to TV pundits) in KS. Glad to have you on board, Mr. Morrison!

    And this Missouri-born gal sure wants to give a shout out to Senator Claire.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  03:40 PM
  35. Frankly, I’m worried for the WAAGNFN Party-Cult (get it?  “PC”!).  Unless we can get the freemarket libertarians still left in the Republican Party to endorse a market solution to nuclear proliferation and get them to work with neoliberals in the Democratic Party to make it happen, we’re toast (and not in a good way).

    Here’s the line we need to trot out:

    Why should Pakistan and North Korea be the only ones profiting from selling nuclear weapons technology?  We should be auctioning it off to the highest bidder each year, until every country that wants it has it.  Come on, now, don’t you believe in free trade?

    This is the logical extension of the recent decision to stop giving it away for free over the intertubes.  Not to mention of the Bush administration’s inability to keep it from Iran and North Korea or persuade Indian and Pakistan not to join the nuclear club.

    It’s a win-win for the WAAGNFNPC, too.  Either Adam Smith is right and we see a lot less war and imperialism or we’re primed for a really giant (or, if you prefer, global) nuclear fireball down the road.

    Any progress on the manifesto, O Great Ministers of the PC?  Thoughts on a party platform?

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  11/08  at  03:46 PM
  36. Gojira is cogitating:

    cogiro

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  11/08  at  04:04 PM
  37. I second or third you on the wackiness of Pennsylvania.  The defeat of Santorum is particularly sweet for me because I was living in Pittsburgh when the putz ousted Harris Wofford, the first director of the Peace Corps, and MLK’s link to Kennedy.  And it is also sweet because finally one of Dan Savage’s political pranks results in something good.  The reason I say this will remain unspoken.

    Having woken up in a blue America (a blue world: Ortega is back, tho’ an evangelical, rather than marxist, tribune for social justice), I went about looking for something to be anxious about.  And what I am anxious about is the push from the out to lunch (small, indeed) portion of the left that will call for impeachment, and the reciprocal frightening of the children act that parts of the media will engage in.  Some frightening has begun already, with talk about Conyers.  And it frightens me, because it would an idiotic distraction from the real matter at hand, which is triage on a number of fronts.  What is even more annoying is that the very same people who endorse the strategy are people who probably enabled this administration in the first place by empowering Nader’s neo-stalinist run in 2000.  That goes for people in states where he didn’t swing the vote, because without sig. support in (let’s face it) WA and other places, there would have been no FLA. 

    So the sworn duty of everyone here, particularly we hang out where these folks are, is to mock mercilessly people who mutter about impeachment.  They are the black helicopter folks of the left.  This is not to say there should not be subpoenas and calls for accountability.  There should be, and impeachment would distract from that task as well. 

    Pardon my worry.  Back to being blue!

    captcha:  “against” as in Against the Wind

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  04:05 PM
  38. Rob, today we have no worries about that crew.  All is well here in the progressive valhalla known as BobCaseyLand, where Democrats are always good and always do exactly what we want.

    The future of the WAAGNFNP, though—I’ll have to start worrying about that tomorrow.  First my “We Are All Tigers Now” rally falls short, now this.  Who knows?  It might be time for a “new direction” for the WAAGNFNP.  Perhaps we can begin by hiring Rumsfeld.

    Posted by Michael  on  11/08  at  04:10 PM
  39. Oh, Rob Crowe, please tell me that you’re joking when you refer to who we must mercilessly mock.  The time for mockery is over, and in any case, it shouldn’t be directed at our own.

    Now it’s time to actually do stuff.  I know that this is the wrong blog for it, but here’s my medium-term wish list for legislation or policy changing the playing field towards the following:

    1.  no more wars of choice

    Humanitarian necessity, good as pragmatic policy, helps to move money away from defense contractors, allows development of actual police work

    2.  start to replace fossil fuels

    Required due to global climate change crisis, most important environmental issue, moves money away from in-GOP-pocket oil companies and towards new industries that will be beholden to us

    3.  unionize Wal-Mart

    Service sector workers need support more than any other, unionization is highly susceptible to small legislative changes, Wal-Mart supports GOP in any case

    4.  Media de-consolidation

    Sometimes, when the media get too GOP-friendly, you need to pick up some crappy little corporate monopoly and throw it against the wall.  (Who said that you couldn’t learn anything from Ledeen?)

    5.  defund the Right

    Re-institute inheritance tax, progressive income taxes, use IRS to go after politically involved churches, make full use of all GOP innovations to squash any bacon-bringing-home by Repubs in the House

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  04:28 PM
  40. Whoa, whoa, whoa, Rich!  This is all well and good—really—but let’s not forget to give Speaker Pelosi credit for the First 100 Hours plan:  raise the minimum wage; authorize stem-cell research; implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission; permit the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices.  The People Have Spoken, and this is what they want first and foremost.  Replacing fossil fuels and unionizing Wal-Mart will just have to wait until the second 100 hours.

    Posted by Michael  on  11/08  at  04:39 PM
  41. Uh, yeah - about that… How does this affect the WAAGNFN party?

    Brian - glad you asked!

    The strategy to back away from the “C” (cult) word (at least until after the Chris Clarke Show Trial) has been paying huge dividens, and the BACM (Big-Ass Cash Money) is once again flowing freely into my the WAAFGNFNP coffers. Geraldo, the LaRouchies, and Dennis Miller have completely lost interest. By contrast, the office of the highly respectable Keith Olbermann is calling asking if there are still any media credentials available for purchase. I’m gonna keep them on ice for a few days before calling back. That’s how strong we are now.

    CCST tickets for the general public are now limited to standing room only. We got a big boost with our promotion package that early purchasing of CCST tickets (date still TBD) would guarantee the right to purchase tickets to all other CCST-related events.

    So all is quite well.

    Um, that is what you were asking about, weren’t you, Brian?

    For the record, the WAAGNFNP Ministry of Justice is not involved with the creation or content of any WAAGNFNP manifesto. Our only concern it its enforcement should we ever have one.

    Captcha: lot, as in, That’s a lot of BACM.

    Oaktown Girl
    Minister of Justice
    WAAGNFNP

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  11/08  at  04:53 PM
  42. Ortega is back, all right-- as an evangelical anti-abortion demagogue. And there’s no need to wait for “the fringe left” to assert the lack of difference between the two parties, when--on the single issue that really determines US Middle East policy, including the Iraq War--they’re happy to give us this assurance:

    “US policy toward Israel is not expected to shift dramatically if Democrats take
    control of Congress. While Republican leaders have made efforts to overtly back
    Israel in recent years, analysts point to historic support for Israel among Democrats.
    In recent weeks, Democrats have been working to counter concerns they would balance
    support for Israel and the Palestinians or that Democrats would name committee chairmen
    who are seen as traditionally unsupportive of the Jewish state.

    “There will be some Democratic chairmen who may not share all my views or have
    as clear a perspective on Israel as I do,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California),
    a Jewish lawmaker, said in a recent on-line chat with Jewish voters, sponsored by
    the House Democratic caucus. “But they will not be chairing committees dealing
    with Israel and the Middle East.”

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee also weighed in. In a statement last
    week, it said, “Strong bipartisan support for Israel exists in both parties
    and, regardless of who is in control, that support will remain steadfast.”

    --Matthew E. Berger in The Jerusalem Post, 11/7/06

    If the war had been going well, the voters wouldn’t have turned on the Bush crowd; it’s not imperial adventures they mind, it’s *losing* imperial adventures. Enjoy your illusory victory while you can; soon the “responsible” liberals will be complaining that the Dems seduced and abandoned you. Again. Like the last couple of dozen times.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  04:57 PM
  43. Well, I said it was medium-term.  In all seriousness, though, the “no more wars of choice” thing may have to happen in the short term if Bush was thinking of starting another one.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  04:57 PM
  44. Oops, that’s supposed to be “dividends”.
    Hey, I just collect the money, I don’t spell check it!

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  11/08  at  05:01 PM
  45. Candy Crowley’s punditry is indeed insufferable, but her fashion sense is what is to be truly lamented. Did she mug Inspector Clouseau’s manservant on the way over to CNN?

    And Bill Bennett?!? Dear God, what did America do to deserve hour after hour of his nonsense?  I could swear that at one point when the camera swung around behind him his computer screen showed him engaged in a bit of off-track betting.

    If I had to sit through another moment of his sanctimonious crapola about what a loss it was that the Senate would no longer have Rick Santorum, champion of the poor, among its ranks--when everyone knows that there are no poor people left in America because Bill Bennett has eaten them all!--well, I would have done something destructive and Sophoclean.

    Whew! I’m glad to have that off my chest.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  05:05 PM
  46. Yeah, no more wars of choice is a good plank, and better sooner than later.  But while we’re on the subject, anyone who thought that Democratic control of the House would mean the end of US support for Israel probably wasn’t thinking very clearly.  Though I have to admit that I have trouble seeing Israel as the force that has “really determined” US policy toward Iraq since the Iranian revolution.  I see the major changes in Iraq policy since 1979 as having to do primarily with, um, well, the Iranian revolution, one, and then the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, two.  And you know what else?  I don’t think the left has ever come up with a good argument about what US policy with regard to Iraq should have been after 1979.  All we’ve done is to say that the tilt toward Iraq was evil and the tilt against Iraq was also evil.  And then we switch the subject to something we prefer to talk about, like the justice of the Palestinian cause.

    Posted by Michael  on  11/08  at  05:08 PM
  47. Enjoy your illusory victory while you can; soon the “responsible” liberals will be complaining that the Dems seduced and abandoned you. Again.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, reports of the death of Irony are greatly exaggerated.

    Do you think our complaining willl be more like traditional conservatives or neo-conservatives??

    Truth is, our complaining will now forever be tinged by the knowledge of just how much worse it could get.

    captcha: there, as in been there, done that.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  05:20 PM
  48. Hour 301: establish a (Federal) Federal Campaign Speech Act Archive wherein is registered, indexed, and made available for public scrutiny a pristine copy of every bought & paid promotion on behalf every candidate for Federal office. Saying weird shit to get elected ought go on your permanent record.

    Captcha: york. Small ‘y’, flagged by the new spell checker that showed up here about the same time I upgraded to FireFox 2.0

    Posted by black dog barking  on  11/08  at  05:39 PM
  49. no more wars of choice is a good plank
    Except those that increase global entropy, creating a better climate for the GNF, right?? And whatever the failings of the left to express coherent strategies for handling the Mid-East, those of the right have been remarkably pro GNF.  We do owe them some harrumphing and headnodding.

    CCST tickets for the general public are now limited to standing room only.
    Are those available through ticketmastering or ticketingwestwardly???

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  05:41 PM
  50. It looks like CNN is calling PA’s 8th for Murphy, which would extend the Dems pickup to 29 (and still counting).  Can anyone in the PA area confirm this as it looks like it was a very close race?

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  05:42 PM
  51. In the First Hundred Days (the first day, if possible), I’d also like to see the House and Senate repeal the torture bill.  Bush would veto it, of course, but it would be a pretty powerful statement.  (I’m not sure enough Dems are willing to do that.  But it’d be the right thing to do.)

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  05:46 PM
  52. favorite race: DA Nifong winning re-election here in old Durham town.

    Odd Reason: for perhaps the first time in their lives, a group of upper middle-class “moderate” white students felt very passionately about a perceived injustice, made a fairly reasonable case, agitated and organized, and failed to get their way!

    It’s like they’re the Campus Left or something . .  .

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  05:49 PM
  53. Hey Michael, Jodi Dean over at I Cite just posted a short review of WLatLA.  As she goes to Zizek and Badiou (through Foucault and Lacan) to criticize your invocation of Habermas, she’s implicitly suggesting the Enlightenment debates are better viewed through the lens of marxism than postmodernism.  Enough about electoral politics--we need a Liberal Thursday on academic politics!

    On Middle East policy, I think a good place to start from may be the recognition by some African intellectuals that a major postcolonial mistake was the failure to rethink and renegotiate the national borders created by European colonialism.  What do you think of the folks who have been arguing for partition all along as the only realistic solution to a post-Baath-Party-dominated Iraq? 

    I just read somewhere that good ol’ Winston Churchill considered his creation of Iraq out of provinces that the British Empire took over from the Ottoman Empire to be one of the biggest mistakes of his career.  Is blaming the Brits, leaving the Sunnis and Shiites to negotiate or fight their way to new borders throughout the region, and trying to find a way to resolve issues raised by the position of Palestinians and Kurds (mainly through serious diplomatic efforts with Israel and Turkey) a viable strategy?

    I’m still partial to my crazy idea to offer any country that wants in a process by which to join the United States as a new state.  The chance to have representation within the US political system might be appealing to some, if our system is as hot as we like to think (or hope) it is.  Why shouldn’t we be giving nations as well as individuals opportunities to join us as equals?  Just think what future US elections might be like if any did....

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  11/08  at  06:00 PM
  54. Just because the immediate prospects of a 4GNF have diminished with the firing of the Rummy One does not mean that the WAAGNGNP MVP will cease with the visuals. For one thing, there is always the prospect that the Rummy One will get a gig in North Korea. In any event, it is our duty to keep the prospect of a 4GNF perpetually burned into the eyeballs of party-cult loyalists, at least until the Minister of Justice has socked away enough ducats for three months in Hawaii followed by a trip into space on one of those Russian tourist flights.

    lkjlkj

    captcha: Diamond Head

    diamondhead

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  11/08  at  06:04 PM
  55. Whoops, that’s “WAAGNFNP” not “WAAGNGNP.”

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  11/08  at  06:07 PM
  56. My favorite races?

    A, O, WAY TO GO OHIO

    And unlike the Pretenders, I don’t mean this ironically.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  11/08  at  06:15 PM
  57. 3.  unionize Wal-Mart

    How about thinking BIG for a change?

    Let’s re-legalize secondary strikes.  I wouldn’t just get Wal-Mart unionized, it would get the whole service sector unionized.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  06:15 PM
  58. A campus left that actually makes it presence count, rather than just be known (or notorious): glorious!  Spurred on by rootless, I now call for ruthless (not just merciless) mockery of the entire neostalinist left (as well as the nostalgic Trotskyist left).  I think it is high time that their caterwauling was revealed as enabling, if in a dialectical way, the whole punch’n’judy show that has been the current administration.  They have fostered the perception that the radical right has that gov’t absolutely can do no good by picking and choosing targets, and then being selective about their evidence. They ignore the fact that this charade has been going on for 12 years, and presided over first by dimwitted would-be techno-Napoleon and genial wrestling coach (taking orders from an ex-Terminator). And their fans ignore that there is a whole industry in making left-wing complaint, that allows books to be published, travel to be made, and money to be raised--to what end?  Folks, it is in their interest to say there is no diff between the Ds and Rs. It’s time to out these people as in love with their rectitude as much as the christian cons, but without that faction’s political pragmatism.

    And Rich I am all for changing the policies, particularly if it makes neostalinists eat their words, shoes, etc.  But I recall that Wild Bill’s big mistake was to come out with all manner of cool ideas from the start, without bothering to take the measure of his opponents (or even some of his allies) measure.  What Speaker Pelosi proposes immediately is what is needed; that is, triage, which is attacking the most pernicious and most low-hanging fruit of this reign of error.  Otherwise, speak softly, but back up your words seems apt, especially after all the hubris (and other things) that have been flowing, let us remember again, for frigging 12 years!

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  06:22 PM
  59. Rob Crowe: “But I recall that Wild Bill’s big mistake was to come out with all manner of cool ideas from the start [...]”

    Well, I’m just Some Guy On The Internet, so I don’t have to worry about that.

    alwsdad: “In the First Hundred Days (the first day, if possible), I’d also like to see the House and Senate repeal the torture bill.”

    Again, I was only doing the medium term.

    SamChevre: “How about thinking BIG for a change?”

    I was assuming that anything legislative change that would get Wal-Mart would probably get the rest.

    “Hey Michael, Jodi Dean over at I Cite just posted a short review of WLatLA.”

    That Liberal Tuesday is really going to be a train wreck if it happens.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  06:32 PM
  60. Bill Bennett was truly insufferable, as was Paul Begala, who repeatedly made a point of praising Bennett before bashing other conservatives.

    The fawning over Rick Santorum’s compassionate bipartisanship on the part of Bennett and my former Congressperson J.C. Watts was probably the pundit low point of the night for me.  And, yes, Bill Bennett actually defended Santorum’s infamous remark comparing homosexuality with bestiality (apparently, we all took it out of context).  Compassionate enemies of man-on-dog sex have truly lost a champion in the Senate!  Whatever. Santorum will always have a special meaning for me!

    Close second in low moments of punditry was the truly bipartisan effort to praise everyone’s favorite rising “political rock star” (and torture advocate) Harold Ford, Jr.  I’m afraid that, try as they might, the Democratic pundits on CNN were unable to say as many nice things about him as Bennett and Watts were.

    Finally, let me just add my resistance to the preemptive attempt to ridicule criticism of the Democrats from the left.  To say that the Democratic Party is not likely to enact a progressive agenda is not in any way to say that “the non-appearance of everything that [those of us on the left] ever wanted means that the two parties are no different after all.”

    The two parties are very different. But the Democrats are not about to adopt even Rich Puchalsky’s fairly modest medium-run agenda...at least not without intense political pressure. For example, you simply cannot expect an Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by John Dingell (D-GM) to even increase CAFE standards, let alone “start replacing fossil fuels.”

    To get the most we can out of the new House and Senate leadership, constant political pressure from the left will be necessary.  Sorry if that thought spoils some of y’all’s day.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  07:03 PM
  61. Ben Alpers: “To get the most we can out of the new House and Senate leadership, constant political pressure from the left will be necessary.  Sorry if that thought spoils some of y’all’s day.”

    I’m always puzzled by this rhetorical trope.  The agenda that you described as “fairly modest” is not really so modest, involving as it does more progress than we’ve had since the 80s.  Why would it spoil anyone’s day to suggest that constant pressure would be necessary to get even a small part of it done?  The countervailing forces are going to be strong: Presidential veto, bare control of the Senate, differences in ideology and regional interest, media-driven nationalism, the continuing power of lobbyist money.

    But of course constant pressure means *pressure*, not blogged declarations that the Democrats are hopeless.  That pressure has to have credible power behind it.  The left is going to be irrelevant; the netroots, such as they are, are the only new factor with institutional leverage aside from rejection of GOP failure, and they aren’t really left so much as moderate to left-liberal.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  07:55 PM
  62. Gojira can go with “constant political pressure from the left.” After all, Gojira’s been waiting patiently for millions of years to obtain redress on behalf of dinosaurs from pesky little fuzzy mammals. Gojira is patient.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  11/08  at  07:59 PM
  63. Jennifer Brunner as Secretary of State in Ohio. No more Blackwellesque (or is that Blackwellian) chicanery in the buckeye state.

    Oh, and Jennifer Granholm in Michigan.  Something about the name…

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  08:02 PM
  64. Well, unfortunately Jodi’s I Cite post consists of a good deal of the usual drill with the term “liberal,” capped off by a final paragraph of free association with the term “elite.” I decided not to mess with the former, but since the latter involved a little legerdemain on Jodi’s part, I did provide a helpful comment in the hope of setting the textual record straight.

    Posted by Michael  on  11/08  at  08:48 PM
  65. But of course constant pressure means *pressure*, not blogged declarations that the Democrats are hopeless.  That pressure has to have credible power behind it.  The left is going to be irrelevant; the netroots, such as they are, are the only new factor with institutional leverage aside from rejection of GOP failure, and they aren’t really left so much as moderate to left-liberal.

    Rather than rehashing some by now quite dull arguments, Rich, let’s agree to disagree. Credible pressure cannot come from people who are always willing to vote for anyone with a “D” after his or her name.  And the most effective pressure won’t come from self-important bloggers of either the rejectionist left or the moderate netroots variety.  It’ll come from social movements that might communicate online but that can also express their power in more concrete terms.  The great periods of reform in American history have occurred when there is a credible threat to the major parties from the left, whether that threat is in the streets or at the ballot box.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  09:02 PM
  66. Ben Alpers: “Credible pressure cannot come from people who are always willing to vote for anyone with a “D” after his or her name.”

    Without rehashing too much, I do have to disagree with that.  The netroots has already shown itself willing to get involved in primary fights.  Leiberman is still a Senator, but he came close to not being one, and he’s not a Democratic Senator.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  09:09 PM
  67. So who does Bushco pick to replace Rummy?? None other than unindicted co-conspirator, pardoned and freed, felon wannabe, Robert Gates of Iran-Contra fame.  A close friend of poppy Bush,

    I heard the search took so long because they were looking for someone above a G-13 salary grade who knew how to operate a shredder.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  09:11 PM
  68. First. Congratulations Americans and thank you for giving me the first chance I’ve had to relax my sphincter in six years. My opinion of Americans has instantly improved.

    Second. Can you add proportionate representation to the list of good ideas to add to a platform? It would be nice for the U.S. (and Canada) to catch up to the whole “modern democracy” thing. And, to aggressively pursue legal action against persons who willfully pursue public deceit and promote hate (hate in the legal sense - not sure if you guys have a legal definition of hate though). And, it would be nice if you turned over the majority of your military to the U.N., or perhaps another international body yet to be created. And for gods sakes people, get some universal health care already.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  11/08  at  09:32 PM
  69. The netroots has already shown itself willing to get involved in primary fights.  Leiberman is still a Senator, but he came close to not being one, and he’s not a Democratic Senator.

    Horseshoes and hand grenades, Rich. The Netroots have shown they were willing to get involved in one single primary campaign.  Though they won the campaign, it didn’t make any difference whatsoever in terms of who’s sitting in that Senate seat now.  Meanwhile, the netroots enthusiastically supported the campaigns of dozens of pro-war and pro-torture Democrats.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  09:46 PM
  70. CCP: “Can you add proportionate representation to the list of good ideas to add to a platform?”

    There’s a whole lot of possible good ideas, CCP.  I chose those five because all of them are intrinsically good things to do, don’t have much internal Democratic opposing constituency, would tend to diminish Republican power, and may be possible in the medium term.  Proportionate representation, since it would require drastic Constitutional change, isn’t.

    Universal health care is the one that I’d be tempted to add, sure.  I’m just not sure, given the number of people who actually work in medical billing, whether there actually is an internal Democratic constituency opposing it or not.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  09:49 PM
  71. Ben Alpers: “Meanwhile, the netroots enthusiastically supported the campaigns of dozens of pro-war and pro-torture Democrats.”

    And they were right to do so.  Without being the party in power, they don’t get to try for a larger agenda.  And the conservative Democrats don’t get to set that agenda; they can only resist it.

    Meanwhile, saying that they only almost took out a sitting Senator on their first try is rather a non-objection.  Clearly, they are going to do this more and more as their power grows; clearly, they demonstated power to every other conservative Democrat thinking of ignoring the party line.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  09:55 PM
  72. Delurking for just a moment of despair from the state of South Carolina where not only did the republicans win most everything in a landslide, but where the constitutional amendment to ban marriage outside of one man and one woman also passed.

    I am absolutely elated about the dem victories across the country, but also a bit worried about the contradictions seemingly inherent in places where ballot initiatives passed that are (at best) incongruent with seat victories.  Must. stay. vigilant.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  10:03 PM
  73. Jason Altmire over Melissa Hart in the 4th are very pleasant

    Pleasant indeed. I believe it was due to Jason’s insertion into his stump speech of some powerful words decrying our official endorsement of torture. (I think they actually came from something Hugo Chavez found in a comic book graphic novel, or Metafilter, or something like that.) OK, I’m lying (but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when your party controls Congress - it’s hard to remember how to act.) - but I did receive nice note back from the campaign - though I never did get any yard signs.

    And thanks for the Santorum love, although Hugh Hewitt in his floundering cluelessness manages to give voice to the true stuff of nightmares.

    President Bush will not flag in the pursuit of the war, and Senator Santorum is now available for a seat on the SCOTUS should one become available.

    Oh, and a big shout out to California-11 for getting rid of Richard our-land-is-my-land Pombo.

    And yes the TV pundits are really, truly collectively insane - make no mistake, we are clearly still in Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds territory.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  10:18 PM
  74. Mitchell Freedman...the Dems may get their chance to gerrymander.  In addition to the Governor’s Mansions they won Tuesday, they also turned over 10 state legislative houses, and now control 15 states lock (gov), stock (sen) and barrel (house).

    and one other, spectacular note.  the Democrats now have a majority of the Iowa Congressional delegation.  I lived there for ten years, and followed their politics before that.  I can’t remember the Dems ever having more members than the Reps.  I wonder if they ever have.

    Posted by  on  11/08  at  11:10 PM
  75. Favorite local race? The re-election of San Francisco Supervisor (in other words, city councilman) Chris Daly where close to a million dollars was spent by right-wingers like Don Fisher (owner of The Gap conglomerate) and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein along with the local power structure, simply to influence 13,000 votes. And they lost, because a weird, only-in-San-Francisco army of volunteers sprouted up and went out and worked like crazy for a couple of weeks. It was great.

    captcha: report

    Posted by sfmike  on  11/08  at  11:17 PM
  76. rich: I completely understand, and agree. I was just making a dream list based on my own personal interests - which sounds strange, when I’m a citizen of a different country, but, I have a lot of family in the states, including my mother. So… ya know.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  11/08  at  11:43 PM
  77. Well, I haven’t quite finished the reading yet, but I’d still like to congratulate and thank the citizenry of Pennsylvania for ousting that little weasel senator of yours.

    Posted by Heo Cwaeth  on  11/09  at  12:03 AM
  78. No surprise, but Japanese-American Maizie Hirono is going to Washington from our congressional district in Hawaii. She was not my personal favorite from a field of six excellent Democrats, but she’s damn good. And a pro.
    I am so happy about the election I went out into the woods and had me a good scream!!!
    Ya hooooooo!!!

    Posted by Hattie  on  11/09  at  12:46 AM
  79. Seems the Dems got the Senate, too.  They have less than two years to deliver something better than the last Congress.  How much does this affect the debates over short-medium-long (term), liberal-progressive-radical (strategies and policies) already beginning to take place here and elsewhere?

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  11/09  at  02:54 AM
  80. And all it took was… [Michael’s litany of disasters]

    Opponents of Controversial Headmaster Gain Faculty Positions at New Wye Prepatory School for Girls.

    Due to some recent retirements, for the first time in years urbane, but controversial, headmaster Humbert Humbert faces a faculty that does not include a majority of blackmailed firm supporters. Although trustees indicated that their choice of new faculty did signal a wish to change direction at the formerly elite school, many co-conspirators observers counseled against any investigations into the policies and practices of Humbert’s administration. “The continuing education of the “girls” is the important thing for all to focus on”, said Public Relations Director Mark Halperin, while wiping some unidentified brown substance off his nose, “I’m sure our rival schools would like nothing better than to see New Wye embroiled in wasteful bickering for the next several years. Some of us are better than that”. Longtime Classics professor reminded the new hires that: “Like it or not, Humbert is going to be headmaster for the next two years so there isn’t that much time left to partay they should not concern themselves with intramural squabbling, but rather focus on impressing the timeless truths of mankind to the nubile bodies impressionable minds of the students.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  09:05 AM
  81. ooops, Longtime Classics professor Joe Lieberman

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  09:10 AM
  82. It is with great pride that I let you all know that the City of Oakland on Tuesday passed Ranked Choice (aka Instand Runoff) voting!

    Alameda County
    Measure O
    Instant Runoff Voting, City of Oakland
    Choice Votes %

    Yes 44,162 67.4%
    No 21,372 32.6%
    100% of precincts reporting Updated 11/08 9:49AM

    About this race:

    City of Oakland Instant Runoff Voting Charter Amendment Measure. Shall the City Charter be amended to require the use of ranked choice voting, known sometimes as instant runoff voting, to elect city offices by a majority vote at a November election without holding a prior June election?

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  11/09  at  09:53 AM
  83. I have to second Tim Walz’s defeat of Gil ”AIDS” may not be related to HIV” Guteknecht.  I love all the coverage that said Guteknecht was just caught up in the wave.  The only reason he was in was because of the 94 wave.  The man is GWB without drive or intelligence (I know its hard to believe, but follow the link), which is good this country couldn’t handle another GWB.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  11:43 AM
  84. Well, down with the neostalinist left then! In their place, let’s have democratic centralism, Democrat-style, where we all vote for torture-lovers and war criminals (also known as “war heroes"), indicate that only those who killed many Vietnamese should be allowed to rule us, and clearly state that democracy means acceding to the choices presented to us. At least we’ll be able to cheer the only thing our new improved congress is going to achieve, namely bloating the war budget even more (a.k.a. “implementing the recommendations of the 9-11 commission” and “giving our troops the means they need to fight").

    After that rant, let me say that I have at least some hope I’m wrong. But not much.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  01:15 PM
  85. Yeah, Oaktown Girl, that was pretty cool. I’d like to see Northern California export ranked-choice voting to the rest of the U.S.-- if I didn’t have to choose between voting my conscience and voting my fear of the worst candidate, I’d have much more opportunity to spend energy on things like, oh, grading the stack of papers sitting next to me.

    Captcha word: better. As in, things are looking up.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  01:36 PM
  86. Finally, let me just add my resistance to the preemptive attempt to ridicule criticism of the Democrats from the left.  To say that the Democratic Party is not likely to enact a progressive agenda is not in any way to say that “the non-appearance of everything that [those of us on the left] ever wanted means that the two parties are no different after all.”

    The two parties are very different. But the Democrats are not about to adopt even Rich Puchalsky’s fairly modest medium-run agenda...at least not without intense political pressure. For example, you simply cannot expect an Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by John Dingell (D-GM) to even increase CAFE standards, let alone “start replacing fossil fuels.”

    To get the most we can out of the new House and Senate leadership, constant political pressure from the left will be necessary.  Sorry if that thought spoils some of y’all’s day.

    I agree with Ben that it is unlikely the Democrats will, barring significant and determined pressure from the left, demonstrate much in the way of real opposition. While it is likely that they will push for increases in minimum wage and greater funding of education--and certainly these are not ignoble goals--I doubt that they will significantly depart from the administration on the “war on terror.”

    A troubling early indicator of their willingness to go along with the administration is the speed with which Dems said they would try to push through approval of Rumsfeld replacement Robert Gates, a man who, pace Scott Shane of the New York Times, is not a “Cautious Player” from the past but someone who was involved in the politicization of intelligence throughout the 1980s and deeply involved in the Iran-Contra shenanigans.

    Of course, you don’t really get any of this from either Shane’s article or from statements recently made by the Dems, who appear eager to confirm him despite the fact that politicized intelligence is precisley what led to the immoral and illegal war with Iraq.

    So my confidence in the Dems on this score is not particularly high. A raise in the minimum wage and increased funding for education are fine ameliorative measures, but they alone do not qualify the Dems for the title “opposition party.”

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  01:36 PM
  87. "and clearly state that democracy means acceding to the choices presented to us”

    Well, if by “choices”, you mean “range of choices”, yes.  That’s how it works.  Political systems in which a few individuals get whatever they want without regard to what other people want go by a variety of interesting names, but none of them are democratic.

    You want choices further to the left?  Convince more people to believe further to the left.  Meanwhile I’ll throw in with people who understand that you can’t just suddenly fire the electorate and replace it with a new one.  The American people have near-majority support for torture, at least torture of brown people—it’s an American tradition.  That means that, guess what, it’s going to be hard to build a solid anti-torture polity that doesn’t include at the margins some people who favor torture but don’t have this as one of their most important issues.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  01:43 PM
  88. "A troubling early indicator of their willingness to go along with the administration is the speed with which Dems said they would try to push through approval of Rumsfeld replacement Robert Gates”

    I don’t understand why anyone cares about this “issue” at all.  Is the idea supposed to be that if the Dems hold out and waste time and energy on this, that Bush will put someone in who will be reasonable and competent and who will win the unwinnable Iraq war for us and de-politicize the completely worthless intelligence agencies?

    Let Bush have whichever stooge he wants.  This isn’t a Supreme Court Justice appointment.  This is, on the contrary, one of the few areas—an appointee of a lame-duck President to a job that no one, no matter how good, could actually do at this point—in which “heighten the contradictions” works.  I’m glad that Bush chose an Iran-Contra flunky.  It keeps the history in everyone’s mind.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  02:01 PM
  89. Rich, but it’s up to us to put the history out there, right?  I at least was alive during Iran-Contra, but I can’t expect any of my students in the US or Japan to know anything about it.  Wouldn’t raising questions about what he’s learned from the mistakes of that era (if Congressional Democrats want to put their questions so nicely) be, as they say, a teachable moment?

    This is the Secretary of Defense we’re talking about.  The #2 civilian leader of the world’s most expensive and <strikethrough>powerful</strikethrough>, <strikethrough>effective</strikethrough>, <strikethrough>shock-and-awe-inspiring</strikethrough>, uh, military.  You’re not suggesting the Senate give up its prerogative to do some advising before consenting, right?

    I’d like to know what he thinks of Michael Klare’s work on resource and oil wars.  What he thinks about Darfur.  What he thinks about Iraq, Iran, North Korea, not to mention non-axis-of-evil places of concern (does he agree with the Condi of ‘00 who thought China was the biggest potential threat to the US?).  He should have to go on the record on all kinds of issues and answer all kinds of questions about the past and the present.  That’s what Congress is supposed to do.

    If he can’t handle that kind of questioning, he can’t handle being Secetary of Defense.  If he can, we then have some statements of principle and strategy from him we can use to judge his performance by.

    Even if it’s only a ritual, using the ritual to the best of their ability is what Congressional Democrats ought to get used to doing.

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  11/09  at  04:02 PM
  90. Where did I say I want to throw away the electorate? I can’t see any reasonable interpretation of my position that contains bashing the electorate. I am not the one admonishing any voters for their choices, I’ll leave that to Alterman and friends. I merely point out that capitalist democracy, and especially its two-party variety, is designed to give the people a very narrow range of choices. Does this mean the choice makes no difference? Of course not. Tiny ideological distinctions can manifest in big practical differences; plus, there’s the whole issue of competence etc.. But I do believe that putting your hope for a (more) just, equitable and free society into the political system is misplaced.

    captcha: “reason” as in “something to be thrown out the window during the CCST”

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  05:47 PM
  91. Ok, I retract. Rereading my rant, I can see how it could be interpreted as bashing voters who vote Democrat. That was not my intention; I meant to bash those who tell voters that they have to vote Democrat, or else their vote is wasted, and then they are responsible for anything those bad Republicans will do.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  05:53 PM
  92. I don’t understand why anyone cares about this “issue” at all.  Is the idea supposed to be that if the Dems hold out and waste time and energy on this, that Bush will put someone in who will be reasonable and competent and who will win the unwinnable Iraq war for us and de-politicize the completely worthless intelligence agencies?

    Let Bush have whichever stooge he wants.  This isn’t a Supreme Court Justice appointment.  This is, on the contrary, one of the few areas—an appointee of a lame-duck President to a job that no one, no matter how good, could actually do at this point—in which “heighten the contradictions” works.  I’m glad that Bush chose an Iran-Contra flunky.  It keeps the history in everyone’s mind.

    Rich,

    Your faith in the anamnestic powers of the American people is touching if a bit misplaced. Your proposal--in which confirming Gates would keep the scandal of his past improprieties during Iran-Contra foremost in the public’s mind--certainly is a novel one, but not one that has much in the way of historical experience to recommend it. No one really watched the cookie jar more attentively, so to speak, when they learned that that fellow alum of the class of ‘86 (i.e.Iran-Contra), Elliott Abrams, was named special White House assistant for democracy and human rights. We can all see what a bang-up job he’s been doing on the human rights front!

    No, a disciplined remembering of Iran-Contra seems not to have taken hold in the wake of the Abrams appointment, so I wouldn’t expect it to should Gates be confirmed with nary a challenge raised about his suitability in light of his past.

    We’re not just talking about a guy who was involved in something ugly like sending salacious text-messages to White House pages. We’re talking about a guy who was actively involved, along with many others, in the circumvention of laws passed by the Congress. If anything ever reached the level of impeachable offenses before George Jr. it was Reagan’s violation of the Congressional ban on funding the contras.

    The Constructivist has it right that at the very least Gates’ record deserves serious scrutiny and he ought to be forced to answer hard questions put to him by Congress. Frankly, I don’t think he deserves the job at all and that his nomination ought to be strenuously opposed, not because I believe that Bush will then nominate someone who can win the war in Iraq (which is so laughable I am surprised that you raise it at all) but because the idea that this president cannot do further damage, that he wouldn’t avail himself of politicized intelligence for possible military action against Iran if it were to be made available to him, are risks that we ought not take and that we certainly cannot accept.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  06:09 PM
  93. I put up some links about Gates’ record, even though I wanted to savor the election results. I find Robert Parry’s three part story at Truthout
    (parts I, II and III). particularly informative about the convenient amnseia about Gates’ criminal history.

    Posted by Joanna  on  11/09  at  06:33 PM
  94. I meant to type amnesia, of course. Oh, and Minneapolis also approved Instant Runoff Voting, yay!

    Posted by Joanna  on  11/09  at  06:35 PM
  95. "the idea that this president cannot do further damage, that he wouldn’t avail himself of politicized intelligence for possible military action against Iran if it were to be made available to him, are risks that we ought not take and that we certainly cannot accept.”

    No, I still don’t get it.  If Bush decides that he wants to attack Iran, he can get someone to create whatever intelligence he wants.  No matter who he puts in this position, it will be someone who will do this.  It’s better not to force Bush to choose someone who will lie even more competently.  This way, as soon as the predictable faked intelligence is produced, the whole Iran-Contra history comes up again; he’s pre-discredited.  And insofar as the only thing that anyone will hear about when they hear about Gates is his Iran-Contra record—because it’s the only thing noteworthy about him—it solidifies the realization that Bush hasn’t changed post-election, and that conservatives as a whole are still the same criminals that they always were.

    As for the idea that he should be made to answer questions, what’s the point?  He’ll say whatever he’s supposed to say, then go do whatever he’s told to do later.  Making him testify is one of those acts of symbolic resistance that’s great to do when symbolic resistance is all you can do, but not very meaningful in comparison to actual progress.  If it could be done at no political cost, fine, but the people involved evidently think that there is some political cost.  I don’t care about it enough to start yet another round of “look how the Democrats can’t do anything” over it.  Publicizing his record and getting it to the media is something that the blogs can actually do.

    Posted by  on  11/09  at  07:22 PM
  96. Now that our side has a majority in both houses they should actually USE subpeona power and launch a REAL independent investigation into 9/11.

    One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying “We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]”. Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I’ve ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four “pilots” among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake “pilot” of the bunch. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports. These “hijackers” somehow managed to board all four airliners with their tickets, yet not even ONE got his name on any of the flight manifests. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn’t work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn’t work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won’t let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you “aren’t supposed to think about”. Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name, more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn’t respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn’t happen, not even close. Somehow these “hijackers” must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn’t have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were “supposed to see”. Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these “hijackers” wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh?

    Posted by  on  11/11  at  04:01 PM
  97. Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn’t even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying “We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down” attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers’ magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be “Muslim hijackers” the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don’t laugh) one of their passports was “found” a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously “surviving” the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also “survived” the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be “indestructable” like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn’t bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the “official story” being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only “testifying” together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their “testimonies” not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the “nineteen hijackers” is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

    Posted by  on  11/11  at  04:02 PM
  98. Debunking Popular Mechanics lies:
    http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=6880
    someone else debunking Popular Mechanics crap:
    http://www.serendipity.li/wot/pop_mech/reply_to_popular_mechanics.htm
    still more debunking Poopular Mechanics:
    http://letsroll911.org/ipw-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5505
    and still more debunking of Popular Mechanics:
    http://www.reopen911.org/ericreubt.htm

    Poopular Mechanics staff replaced just before laughable “debunking” article written:
    http://www.reopen911.org/hiddenhand.htm
    another neo-con 9/11 hit piece explodes, is retracted:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2006/180806hitpiece.htm
    Professor Steven Jones debunks the N.I.S.T. “report” as well as the F.E.M.A. one and the 9/11 commission “report”:
    http://www.infowars.com/articles/sept11/wtc_buildings_collapse_steven_jones.htm
    N.I.S.T. scientist interviewed:
    http://www.teamliberty.net/id235.html
    F.B.I. says no hard evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11 which is why his wanted poster says nothing about 9/11:
    http://forum.afghansite.com/index.php?showtopic=9349
    Fire Engineering magazine says important questions about the Twin Tower “collapses” still need to be addressed:http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID

    Twin Towers’ construction certifiers say they should have easily withstood it:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2004/121104easilywithstood.htm
    USA Today interview with the last man out of the South Tower, pursued by a fireball:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2001/12/19/usat-escape.htm
    Janitor who heard explosions and escaped has testimony ignored by 9/11 whitewash commission:
    http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/ignoring_9-11.html
    Janitor starts speaking out about it and his apartment is burglarized, laptop stolen:
    http://kurtnimmo.blogspot.com/2005/08/apartment-of-nine-eleven-hero-william_28.html
    Firefighters tell of multiple explosions:
    http://www.wnbc.com/news/1315651/detail.html
    Eyewitnesses tell of explosions:
    http://research.amnh.org/users/tyson/essays/TheHorrorTheHorror.html
    Interview with another firefighter telling of explosions:
    http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/Banaciski_Richard.txt
    Firefighter saw “sparkles” (strobe lights on detonators?) before “collapse”:
    http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/Fitzpatrick_Tom.txt
    Other eyewitnesses talk of seeing/hearing explosions:
    http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2005/11/more-proof-911-inside-job-witnesses-to.html
    Surviving eyewitnesses talk of multiple explosions there:
    http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/veliz-bombs.htm
    Cutter charge explosions clearly visible:
    http://www.rense.com/general63/cutt.htm
    The pyroclastic wave (that dust cloud that a second before was concrete) and how it wouldn’t be possible without explosives:
    http://st12.startlogic.com/~xenonpup/physics/
    Detailed description of the demolition of the Twin Towers:
    http://gordonssite.tripod.com/id2.html
    Freefall rate of “collapses” math:
    http://www.911blimp.net/prf_FreeFallPhysics.shtml
    More about their freefall rate “collapses”:
    http://www.serendipity.li/wot/second_wave.htm
    Video footage of the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers:
    http://www.plaguepuppy.net/public_html/video archive/
    Video footage of the controlled demolition of WTC # 7 building:
    http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/wtc/videos.html
    More
    http://www.wtc7.net/
    Photos of the Pentagon’s lawn (look at these and see if you can tell me with a straight face that a jumbo jet crashed there):
    http://www.911blimp.net/cached/HuntTheBoeing!.htm
    More photos of this amazing lawn at the Pentagon:
    http://cryptogon.com/docs/Introducing the amazing Penta-Lawn 2000! (9-11).htm

    Posted by  on  11/11  at  04:03 PM
  99. Very unconvincing fake “Osama” “confession” tape:
    http://welfarestate.com/wtc/faketape/
    More about the fake “Osama” tape:
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/osamatape2.html
    Fake “Mohammed Atta” “suicide” letter:
    http://www.welfarestate.com/wtc/fake-letters.txt
    Commercial pilots disagree with “official” 9/11 myth:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/september_11_us_government_accused.htm
    More commercial jet pilots say “official” myth is impossible:
    http://www.masternewmedia.org/2001/10/31/commercial_jet_pilots_analysis_of_the_twin_tower_attack.htm
    Impossibility of cell phone calls from United 93:
    http://www.physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm
    More about the impossible cell phone calls:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO408B.html
    Experiment proves cell phone calls were NOT possible from anywhere near the altitude the “official” myth has them at:
    http://physics911.ca/org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=9
    Fake Barbara Olson phone call:
    http://www.vialls.com/lies911/lies.htm
    Where the hell was the Air Force?
    http://www.welfarestate.com/wtc/af-scramble.txt
    More about the Air Force impotence question:
    http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0331-11.htm
    Sept. 10th 2001, Pentagon announces it is “missing” $2.3 trillion (now why do you think they picked THAT day to announce it? So it could be buried the next day by 9/11 news):
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/29/eveningnews/main325985.shtml
    Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0513/p05s01-wosc.html
    Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan mentioned:
    http://thetyee.ca/Views/2006/05/19/OutOfAfghanistan
    More on Unocal Afghan pipeline:
    http://www.newscentralasia.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1031
    The attack on Afghanistan was planned in the summer of 2001, months before 9/11:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm
    Pentagon deliberately misled 9/11 Commission:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=EGG20060802&articleId=2887
    9/11 whitewash Commission and NORAD day:
    http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/071204_final_fraud.shtml
    The incredible fish tales of the 9/11 Commission examined:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code= GR20051213&articleId=1478
    Jeb Bush declares state of emergency 4 days before 9/11 for Florida, saying it will help respond to terrorism:
    http://www.eionews.addr.com/psyops/news/jebknew.htm
    Steel debris removal from Ground Zero, destruction of evidence:
    http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/groundzero/cleanup.html
    Over two hundred incriminating bits of 9/11 evidence shown in the mainstream media:
    http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/911smokingguns.html
    Tracking the “hijackers”:
    http://www.welfarestate.com/911/
    “Hijacker” patsies:
    http://911review.org/Wiki/HijackersPatsies.shtml
    “Hijackers” receiving flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0208/S00085.htm
    No Arabs on Flight 77:
    http://www.sierratimes.com/03/07/02/article_tro.htm
    Flight manifests (tell me if you find any Arabs):
    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/AA11.victims.html
    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/AA77.victims.html
    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/ua93.victims.html
    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/ua175.victims.html
    Thirty experts say “official” 9/11 myth impossible:
    http://911fraud.blogspot.com/2005/06/us-governments-offical-911-story-is.html
    “Al Qaeda” website tracks back to Maryland:
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/alqmaryland.html
    Al Qaeda videos uploaded from U.S. government website:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2004/140704governmentwebsite.htm
    Operation: Northwoods, a plan for a false-flag “terror” attack to be blamed on Castro to use it as a pretext for America to invade Cuba, thankfully not approved by Kennedy back in 1962 but was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and sent to his desk:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/us_terror_plan_cuba_invasion_pretext.html

    Posted by  on  11/11  at  04:04 PM
  100. Good gracious--a trolling spammer is loose in this blogsphere.  Yikes, what did we do with CC?? Oh that’s right, he is in the party re-education camp; damn, we need this evil threat eliminated, and Chris is just the perfect choice, since we are going to convict him anyway.

    Posted by  on  11/12  at  09:37 PM
  101. spyder, how do we know CC isn’t the spammer?  “Enlightenment” sounds like one of his sock puppet names to me.  As in “dialectic of” or “sleep of reason” or “what is” or “Lutheranism rocks!” It ain’t paranoia if you can prove in a show trial they were out to getcha!

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  11/13  at  09:25 AM
  102. Here’s an idea. Instead of considering it spam (it isn’t; the links are there for a reason) and trying to figure out who the “spammer” is, why don’t you try actually READING what I posted. That’s what it’s there for. You might learn something. So why not give it a try? I know it has a lot of words, some of them big words, but it is well worth the small effort it would take. The truth isn’t always pretty, it isn’t always pleasant but ugly and unpleasant does not by any means equal false. Like the old saying goes, minds are like parachutes, they only work when they are open.

    Posted by  on  11/15  at  04:51 PM
  103. Well, Enlightenment, we don’t take to readin’ “big words” on this simple-minded blog, to be honest.  But we were intrigued to learn that all the people who thought they received cell phone calls from passengers on the hijacked planes were mistaken.  What a bunch of sheeple!

    Posted by  on  11/16  at  01:32 AM

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