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« Liberal Outrage: April 2007 | Main | Liberal Outrage: June 2007 »

Liberal Outrage

Qualifiers

Headline: Home sales soar by record level .

First sentence of article:

Sales of new homes surged in April by the biggest amount in 14 years, but the median price of a new home dropped by the largest amount on record.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2007, 11:55 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Keith Olbermann: "The entire government has failed us"

Link:

This is, in fact, a comment about... betrayal.

Few men or women elected in our history - whether executive or legislative, state or national - have been sent into office with a mandate more obvious, nor instructions more clear:

Get us out of Iraq.

Yet after six months of preparation and execution - half a year gathering the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies, the Democrats have managed only this:

  • The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president - if not the worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history - who happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats "give the troops their money";
  • The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;
  • The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.
  • The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave, and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions - Stop The War - have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform support of those who elected you... for a handful of magic beans.

You may trot out every political cliché from the soft-soap, inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this is the "beginning of the end” of Mr. Bush's "carte blanche" in Iraq, about how this is a "first step."

Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning... is our collective hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.

Because this "first step"... is a step right off a cliff.

And this President!
How shameful it would be to watch an adult... hold his breath, and threaten to continue to do so, until he turned blue.
But how horrifying it is... to watch a President hold his breath and threaten to continue to do so, until innocent and patriotic Americans in harm's way, are bled white.
You lead this country, sir?
You claim to defend it?

And yet when faced with the prospect of someone calling you on your stubbornness - your stubbornness which has cost 3,431 Americans their lives and thousands more their limbs - you, Mr. Bush, imply that if the Democrats don't give you the money and give it to you entirely on your terms, the troops in Iraq will be stranded, or forced to serve longer, or have to throw bullets at the enemy with their bare hands.

How transcendentally, how historically, pathetic.

Any other president from any other moment in the panorama of our history would have, at the outset of this tawdry game of political chicken, declared that no matter what the other political side did, he would insure personally - first, last and always - that the troops would not suffer.
A President, Mr. Bush, uses the carte blanche he has already, not to manipulate an overlap of arriving and departing Brigades into a 'second surge,' but to say in unequivocal terms that if it takes every last dime of the monies already allocated, if it takes reneging on government contracts with Halliburton, he will make sure the troops are safe - even if the only safety to be found, is in getting them the hell out of there.

Well, any true President would have done that, Sir.

You instead, used our troops as political pawns, then blamed the Democrats when you did so.

Not that these Democrats, who had this country's support and sympathy up until 48 hours ago, have not since earned all the blame they can carry home.

"We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame," Winston Churchill wrote to Lord Moyne in the days after the British signed the Munich accords with Germany in 1938. "My feeling is that we shall choose shame, and then have war thrown in, a little later..."

That's what this is for the Democrats, isn't it?

Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War.
All that's missing is the landing at the airport, with the blinkered leader waving a piece of paper which he naively thought would guarantee "peace in our time," but which his opponent would ignore with deceit.

The Democrats have merely streamlined the process.
Their piece of paper already says Mr. Bush can ignore it, with impugnity.

And where are the Democratic presidential hopefuls this evening?
See they not, that to which the Senate and House leadership has blinded itself?

Judging these candidates based on how they voted on the original Iraq authorization, or waiting for apologies for those votes, is ancient history now.

The Democratic nomination is likely to be decided... tomorrow.

The talk of practical politics, the buying into of the President's dishonest construction "fund-the-troops-or-they-will-be-in-jeopardy," the promise of tougher action in September, is falling not on deaf ears, but rather falling on Americans who already told you what to do, and now perceive your ears as closed to practical politics.

Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to - for their own political futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the individual futures of our troops - denounce this betrayal, vote against it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.

For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.

Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats... have failed us.

They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as possible.

Mr. Bush and his government... have failed us.
They have behaved venomously and without dignity - of course.
That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.
We are the ones providing any element of surprise or shock here.
With the exception of Senator Dodd and Senator Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidates have (so far at least) failed us.

They must now speak, and make plain how they view what has been given away to Mr. Bush, and what is yet to be given away tomorrow, and in the thousand tomorrows to come.

Because for the next fourteen months, the Democratic nominating process - indeed the whole of our political discourse until further notice - has, with the stroke of a cursed pen, become about one thing, and one thing alone.

The electorate figured this out, six months ago.
The President and the Republicans have not - doubtless will not.
The Democrats will figure it out, during the Memorial Day recess, when they go home and many of those who elected them will politely suggest they stay there - and permanently.
Because, on the subject of Iraq...
The people have been ahead of the media....
Ahead of the government...
Ahead of the politicians...
For the last year, or two years, or maybe three.

Our politics... is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.
Mr. Bush has failed.
Mr. Warner has failed.
Mr. Reid has failed.
So.
Who among us will stop this war - this War of Lies?
To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.
To all the others - presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party - there is only blame... for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

While i'd have included the deaths on the side of Iraqi civilians as well as the US troops, and while i think references to Neville Chamberlain are overused at this point (although this is used deliberately in a different context than it has been these past few years), i strongly agree with these sentiments.

However, while i was originally ready to give up on the Dems entirely, this post by Kos made me rethink that a bit:

I've got to say, of all the things that get me down about this job, there's nothing worse than the people who want to quit the game and take their ball home every time we face a setback. It's as if every word I've ever written about this being a long-term battle means zero. As if it's instant gratification or nothing.

We face a multiple-front war -- against conservatives, against an out-of-touch and corrupt beltway consultant class, against corporatist Democrats, or Democrats that long ago lost the fire in their belly, and against a compromised punditry elite. Those are tough opponents, and it'll be a decades-long fight.

Did any of you really think we won that war in 2006? I sure as heck didn't. 2006 was incremental improvement, just as 2008 will be. And hopefully 2010. Along the way, we'll likely lose some ground, but we must always remain focused on the long term.

The conservative movement spent three decades building up their machine and completing the takeover of their party. And some of you want to quit after one setback?

That's embarrassing.

Buck up. We still haven't completely lost this Iraq supplemental battle. And if we do, instead of crying and taking your ball home, resolve to fight even harder. We owe it to our troops in Iraq, to our families, to our neighbors, to ourselves.

We have a lot of deadwood to get rid of in DC -- both Democratic and Republican. We have to combat the lies of the right wing noise machine and its allies in the traditional media. We have to build an electoral machine that can go toe-to-toe against the GOP's machine and win -- even when Republicans aren't shooting themselves in the foot.

This movement is about fighting for what we believe in, doing the hard work to transform both our party and our nation. It won't happen at once. We'll have to do this incrementally one issue fight and one election cycle at a time.

It's not about supporting these Democrats. It's about trying to turn the Democratic party into something that i would be proud to support.


By fnord12 | May 24, 2007, 9:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



What country are we living in?

Ted Rall:

Government agencies began spying on me shortly after 9/11. I have repeatedly suffered service interruptions--loud static, whispered voices, even outages--at the hands of a government whose laughably inept phone-tapping skills match its inability to respond to a hurricane or tornado. Finally, a security official at Verizon confirmed that my telephone had been tapped. "That's already more than I should have told you," he explained, requesting anonymity. "Under the Patriot Act we're not allowed to inform our customers about intercepts."

Eventually I was seeing my local Verizon repair guy, who was repeatedly being summoned to my home to restore service, more often than my best friend. So I was naturally suspicious when I caught an unfamiliar man, no uniform or badge, fiddling with the posts in my building's phone box. "Who are you and what are you doing?" I demanded. The dude knocked me down and bolted out a door into an alley. Giving chase, I watched him drive off an unmarked white van with U.S. government plates.


By fnord12 | May 23, 2007, 11:42 AM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



It's not too late

The Democratic "leadership" has wimped out already, agreeing to remove timelines from the Iraq funding bill. I don't know why they would "compromise" with a man with approval ratings in the low 30s who is moving forward with an unpopular war, but i bet they think they were being strategic and trying to not look like hardliners. Here's how that "strategy" has been perceived:

Here's how it plays in the media:

Democrats Concede On Iraq

Democrats Retreat in Funding Showdown

Bush Wins Congressional Battle Over Iraq

Democrats Concede. Democrats Retreat. Bush Wins. And that's not even covering the many stories on how the Democrats "caved in" or "blinked." Yes, that's exactly the kind of news everyone was looking for after 2006. I think we were all hoping for headlines just like these.

There are a few stories out there about how Democrats need to explain this position to "liberals," that being the 70% of the public who wants out of Iraq. I can answer that one quickly: don't bother.

Despite the failure of our "leaders", its still possible to reject this by getting the rank and file Democratic congress people to vote against the watered down bill. If you care, you can call or email your representative and tell them you don't support removing the timelines and that they should vote no.


By fnord12 | May 23, 2007, 11:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link



Stop or i shall say "Stop!" again

TPM:

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for any of Karl Rove's emails in the Department's possession that might be relevant to the U.S. attorney firings. The deadline was 2 PM yesterday. The deadline came and went. And now Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Arlen Specter (R-PA) are angry.

"You ignored the subpoena, did not come forward today, did not produce the documents and did not even offer an explanation for your noncompliance," the senators wrote in a lettter to Alberto Gonzales today. "Your action today is in defiance of the Committee's subpoena without explanation of any legal basis for doing so." You can read the letter here.

The senators set a new deadline, this Friday at May 18, 10 AM. If the Justice Department does not respond to the subpoena, the senators ask that they at least explain why they're not responding "so that the Chairman and the Committee can assess any objections to the subpoena or privileges claimed by the Department."

C'mon guys! At least give us a reason why you're ignoring us so we can pretend we still have some dignity.


By fnord12 | May 16, 2007, 4:08 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Death Report

Jerry Falwell died. If God does exist, Falwell's in for a shock. As if not being able to bring his money with him in death wasn't enough to depress him.


By min | May 15, 2007, 2:53 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Fear Life

Spored sent me this link yesterday.

Teachers staged a mock gun attack on 11 year olds during a week long class trip. Needless to say, the children and their parents aren't thrilled about this. The kids pretty much thought they were all going to die. I bet the bill for the therapy is going to be really big.

Morons.

On the other hand, this teaches kids to fear life and people and really, i'm down with that.


By min | May 15, 2007, 10:39 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Do they have the equivalent of frequent flyer miles, too?

If you're rich and you do crime, you can do time at the "nice prison" for a small fee:

Apparently there are about a dozen jails throughout California that offer pay-to-stay "upgrades." Inmates (or "clients," as they're known) who pay an extra $75 to $127 a day get a cell with a regular door, located at some distance from violent offenders, as well as the right, in some cases, to bring in an iPod, a cellphone or a laptop.

This is part of a larger op-ed about how taxes actually serve a purpose and Republican 'reduce taxes and increase spending' policies are destroying our society.

...come to think of it, here at work i have a regular door, an ipod, and a laptop.


By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 4:24 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Congress-speak

Listen to this guy try to say "I'd like the person with the banner to leave the room."


By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 1:17 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Ferret lust is perfectly natural

"There is something deranged about you... The excessive concern you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist... There is something really, really very sad about you... This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness...You should go consult a psychologist... Your compulsion about - your excessive concern with it is a sign that there is something wrong in your personality...You have a sickness, and I know it's hard for you to accept that...You need help." - Rudolph Giuliani


By fnord12 | May 2, 2007, 11:27 AM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1)| Link



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