Rep. Don Young (R-AK), doing his part to keep Alaska at the vanguard of ethical blight, isn't saying he shouldn't have taken illegal contributions from the seafood industry -- just that it's too late...
After Republicans successfully blocked an up-or-down vote on the Reed/Levin Amendment that would have set a timetable for the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, Harry Reid announced that he will allow no more votes on the Defense Authorization Bill until Republicans stop filibustering votes on Iraq-related amendments.
Via TPM, Reid said:
I have temporarily laid aside the Defense Authorization bill and have entered a motion to reconsider.
But let me be clear to my Republican colleagues – I emphasize the word "temporarily". We will do everything in our power to change course in Iraq. We will do everything in our power to complete consideration of a Defense Authorization bill. We must do both.
And just to remind my Republican colleagues – even if this bill had passed yesterday, its provisions would not take effect until October.
So we will come back to this bill as soon as it is clear we can make real progress. To that end, I have asked the Democratic Whip and Democratic Manager of the bill to sit down with their counterparts to work on a process to address all outstanding issues related to this bill so the Senate can return to it as soon as possible.
Bill Allison at the Sunlight Foundation has weighed in on our coverage of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) murky land deal with campaign contributor and real estate developer Bob Penney, who is tied to...
frontpaged to light a fire. This seat is winnable but not if we don't try. There was a concerted effort to discourage Ellen Simon from running again but I'm not seeing anyone stepping up. Texas Nate Rick Renzi, the Republican incumbent in AZ-01[...]
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So what should Democrats do now? Let me be frank -the events of the last days on the Levin-Reed Amendment was about pressuring Godot Republicans to break with Bush's Iraq Debacle. After the talk of how Sens. Warner, Lugar, Voinovich, Collins, etc. were breaking with Bush's Iraq Debacle it was of course proven to be an absolute crock. These Republicans will never break with Bush's Iraq Debacle.
Some believe that September will be the moment, after General Petraeus speaks. This is delusion. What do folks think Petraeus is going to say? Petraeus will STIFFEN Republican resolve, not weaken it.
So what to do? If you accept, as I do, that the Godot Republicans will never break with Bush, then it seems to me that the only plausible approaches to ending the Iraq Debacle require reliance on solely Democratic votes. And that means, yes, exercising the NOT spending power after a date certain. More.
One more time for posterity:
This is a preemptive post, because I am positive that the naysayer will trot out the same critiques about the NOT funding the Debacle approach that was used when Feingold first proposed his Not Funding plan in January. To wit, we don't have the votes, McConnell will filibuster, Bush will veto. My response remains:
I ask for three things: First, announce NOW that the Democratic Congress will NOT fund the Iraq Debacle after a date certain. You pick the date. Whatever works politically. If October 2007 is the date Dems can agree to, then let it be then. If March 2008, then let that be the date; Second, spend the year reminding the President and the American People every day that Democrats will not fund the war past the date certain; Third, do NOT fund the Iraq Debacle PAST the date certain.
Some argue we will never have the votes for this. That McConnell will filibuster, that Bush will veto. To them I say I KNOW. But filbustering and vetoing does not fund the Iraq Debacle. Let me repeat, to end the war in Iraq, the Democratic Congress does not have to pass a single bill; they need only NOT pass bills that fund the Iraq Debacle.
But but but, defund the whole government? Defund the whole military? What if Bush does not pull out the troops? First, no, not defund the government, defund the Iraq Debacle. If the Republicans choose to shut down government in order to force the continuation of the Iraq Debacle, do not give in. Fight the political fight. We'll win. Second, defund the military? See answer to number one. Third, well, if you tell the American People what is coming for a year, and that Bush is on notice, that it will be Bush abandoning the troops in Iraq, we can win that political battle too.
This approach is perfectly consistent with the so called "short leash" plan, where the Debacle will be funded in 3 month intervals. But it is only consistent if BOTH are done. The intention to NOT fund the war after March 31, 2008 must be made the Dem position now.
The short leash must be pulled to a stop on March 31, 2008.Say it now so you can end it then. If you do not say it now, then you can't end it on March 31, 2008.
Jon recaps the incredible testimony/muzzling of former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, Bush’s extremist choice for Carmona’s replacement, and the administration’s disturbingly long record of suppressing science and anything contradictory to their predetermined, largely theological conclusions. Download (620) | Play (820) Download (315) | Play (499)
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“are now at their lowest point to date, according to the latest Gallup Poll, with only 30% approving of the way Cheney is handling his job as vice president and the same low percentage viewing the vice president favorably.”
Cartoon of the Week (actually, about three weeks. I've been busy), by Dave the Rave:
Every day liberal cartoonists are hard at work, doodling while avoiding their real jobs and responsibilities. Sometimes you see the results, and sometimes you don't. At Left 'Toon Lane we think a cartoon is worth a thousand words, and that sometimes the Bush Administration is so perfectly ironic that only a cartoon can capture the reality. This week seven different artists produced twelve different cartoons about today's politics. I hope you enjoy them, and that you'll come to Left 'Toon Lane, not just for the jokes, but for art and artists to punch up your own blogs and publications.
Note- everything here has been sized down to fit margin requirements, so visit
Left 'Toon Lane to see them best.
We've had had some great cartoons at Left 'Toon Lane lately, but before getting to the humor, let me take a moment for a memorial, brought to you by our very own StormBear. Doug Marlette, Pulitzer Prize (and pretty much every other available cartoon prize, too)-winning creator of Kudzu, died in an automobile accident this month. It takes one hell of a lot for me to say anything good about anybody who attended Florida State University (Go Gators!), but I'm willing to make an exception for such an exceptional talent. He will be missed:
And now, on to the rest of the 'toons.
Here's another 'toon from from mapaghimagsik. How do you not love this lady?
The cartoon of the week came from the tremendously talented Dave the Rave:
Joseph Kassabian is another new talent from Drunk Duck. Joe might be our biggest picture guy, using the whole world for his cartoons, instead of just the US of A. His two latest contributions are perfect examples:
Okay, my turn. Not because this is in any sort of order, but because I'm saving StormBear for last to make sure you leave with a smile.
This first one almost worked too well, meaning the blending of the cartoon figures and the old black and white picture was so smooth you really had to look to see what it was all about. But I like it.
and two more of mine:
And now for the master, a genius of product and production. Stormbear not only producers great humor and biting wit in A Town Called Dobson, he does it every damned day. Here is what he brought to Left 'Toon Lane the last few weeks:
We have a few more regular Left 'Toon Lane artists not represented above. They just haven't added anything lately, but you can go to their sites to see their work. Monkey Law is flat out hysterical, and one of the best drawn cartoons on the net. Babylon Brothers is another can't-miss political cartoon.
Left 'Toon Lane is an informal group of unaffiliated lefty cartoonists looking for exposure and opportunity. If you see cartoons you want to add to your blog or your publication, please contact me. My contact info is at Left 'Toon Lane. If you want to request art to match a story, go to Left 'Toon Lane, find an artist whose style matches your needs, and contact them for special pieces. And if you are a cartoonist and want to join us, tell me here or contact me from the Lane. We are always looking for new talent to add to the group.
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Standing firmly in the slow quicksand of public disapproval and impending electoral defeat, the WINOs, the Waverers in Name Only, voted with their president this morning, blocking passage of the Levin/Reed amendment to the Defense Authorization.
By a vote of 52-47, with 60 "yea" votes required, Republicans filibustered the Levin-Reed amendment to the Defense Authorization bill, thus keeping it from going to an up-or-down vote and effectively killing the measure. Republicans Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Susan Collins (R-ME) voted with the Democrats.
Lugar and Domenici knew well before the night of debate started that they would oppose any serious effort to change course in Iraq. And Voinovich who got all that great press a few days ago for telling CNN that Bush had screwed up the war?
Meanwhile, Voinovich -- another allegedly "wavering" Senator -- had this to say about Democratic efforts to vote on Reed-Levin: "You wonder if they are more interested in politics than dealing with the substance of this."
No, the politics on this one was all on the side of the WINOs, who are doing their best to strike the posture of being mavericks on Iraq, of breaking with an unpopular president and forcing him to change. They got a whole lot of free press out of the deal, with the media just eating up the idea of Republicans abandoning the president. Of course, the traditional media is pretty easy to fool. We'll probably continue to see stories highlighting the tough talk of the WINOs. Will we see stories about how they're action belie their "tough" talk, how they have obstructed any real change of policy in Iraq?
Seeing their intransigence in supporting their president over supporting the troops, can anyone really believe that something so magical will have happened by September to change their minds? No, they'll just kick that can a little further down the road. But they have done one critical thing in their actions during this debate. They have fully taken on the mantle of responsibility for the Iraq debacle. It now belongs entirely to them.
Make sure you check out Glenn Greenwald's excellent piece, Recovering From the Bush Legacy,[...]
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