Saturday, September 30, 2006

Republicans: Redefining Family Values.



Ahh Republicans, the "family values" party....

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican Rep. Mark Foley resigned Friday from the House after sexually explicit instant message conversations with teenage congressional pages attributed to him surfaced.

The worst part:
--Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., chairman of the Page Board, said he learned about the allegations in late 2005.
(From Editor & Publisher)


Then there's the wonderful Senator George Allen....

College-era acquaintances have claimed Allen used a common racial slur for blacks. Stories about how the Confederate flag he kept in his home and a hangman's noose in his law office have gained new currency.
(From CBS News)

George Beam, 53, became the first to partially back a claim by another former Allen teammate, Dr. Ken Shelton, that Allen took the severed head of a doe killed on a hunting trip, sought out the home of a black family and stuffed the head into an oversized mailbox.
(From The Daily Press)



As horrible as these stories are, I can't help but be happy for how this is going to affect our party in the upcoming election. In fact, there is a little tune that keeps going through my mind:

...It's getting better all the time
better, better, better
It's getting better all the time
better, better, better
Getting so much better all the time

-Getting Better
Lennon/McCartney

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nooooo!!!



Twin Cities site of 2008 GOP convention
Rob Hotakainen and Kevin Diaz, Star Tribune

WASHINGTON --- Minnesota's emergence as a presidential battleground state paid off today when the Republican Party announced that it had chosen Minneapolis and St. Paul to host its 2008 National Convention.

The Twin Cities beat three other finalists: New York, Cleveland and Tampa. It will be the first time the Twin Cities has hosted a national convention since 1892, when Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison for president.


Note from Lizzy: I wonder if it's too early to get a head-start on the protest signs...

Fix the PC, or buy a Mac?

My main PC crashed hard tonight. Tomorrow I will spend the day reformatting & reinstalling. This is not the first time...by a long-shot.

If I get really pissed off, I may go out and buy a Mac, but probably not.

I'll be in touch via PC #2, but I may not get your email for a couple days.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"...the final nail in the coffin for President Bush's phoney argument about the Iraq war"


(Image: Mike Peters' Editorial Cartoons)


Campaign in Iraq has increased terrorism threat, says American intelligence report

· Views of 16 government agencies pooled
· Study contradicting Bush was not made public

Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
Monday September 25, 2006
The Guardian

An authoritative US intelligence report pooling the views of 16 government agencies concludes America's campaign in Iraq has increased the threat of terrorism.

The National Intelligence Estimate was completed in April but not made public. Its conclusions, which were first reported by the New York Times, contradict assertions made by President George Bush and White House officials during the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

"It's a very candid assessment," said one official who has seen the report. "It's stating the obvious."

The report, Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States, points out the "centrality" of the US invasion of Iraq in fomenting terrorist cells and attacks. One section of the 30-page report, Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement, describes how the American presence in Iraq has helped spread radical Islam by providing a focal point for anti-Americanism.

While arguing that there has been success in dismantling the leadership of al-Qaida and its ability to plan major operations, the report says that radical cells have moved to more than 5,000 websites to organise and spread their message.

The report's tone contradicts recent optimistic assertions by the US administration. It also furthers the divisions between the military and politicians in their assessment of the impact of US policy in Iraq.

In his speech to mark the fifth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, President Bush said: "The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad."

But in a speech in April, thought to be largely based on the report, CIA chief General Michael Hayden, then deputy director of national intelligence, painted a more alarming picture. "New jihadist networks and cells, sometimes united by little more than their anti-western agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge," Gen Hayden said. "If this trend continues, threats to the US at home and abroad will become more diverse and that could lead to increasing attacks worldwide."

Democratic senator Edward Kennedy said in a statement that the report "should put the final nail in the coffin for President Bush's phoney argument about the Iraq war. How many more independent reports, how many more deaths, how much deeper into civil war will Iraq need to fall for the White House to wake up and change its strategy in Iraq?"

Read the rest of the story here

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Hard Left - CD Release Party



If you happen to be in Minneapolis tonight, please come to the Uptown Bar and check out the best new local band in town, The Hard Left, for their CD release party.

If you can't make it, please check out their sites (located on my sidebar.)

And, if you ask real nice, I may be able to get you a copy of their new CD,

"The Avant-Garde Sounds of The Hard Left."

Be there!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Don't trust your vote to Diebold or ES&S

Snave had something similar on his blog the other day. It's so important that I've decided to continue it here.



From MyDem.org

No More Stolen Elections!

Republicans stole the elections of 2000, 2002, and 2004 through dozens of dirty tricks - before, during, and after Election Day - to make sure Democratic votes did not count.

It's time for Democratic voters to fight back!

MyDem.org was created to give Democratic voters the tools we need to make sure our votes count - so Republicans never steal another election!

1. Register My Vote
Are you registered? Are you sure? Your recent application may have been lost or rejected - or your past registration may have been purged.

"Google" your registration to find out!

(Note: you must log in with your Democrats.com blog account. If you've never logged in, create a login. If you forgot your password, request one.)

If you are not registered to vote, register here

2. Cast My Vote

Avoid long lines and hackable machines - vote absentee! (Rules vary by state)

3. Count My Vote
(coming soon)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hey pollsters, call me!

I have a question for everyone in bloggerland:

When it comes to the Presidential approval rating polls, have you ever been called/polled? I certainly never have.

The President had a bump in his approval rating this week. Who the hell are the networks polling? Does it really only take a temporary dip in gas prices and the 9/11 anniversary to cloud someone's mind that much? WAKE UP, people! Dubya is just fucking with you again.


They must be calling these guys over & over.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Needle and the Damage Done

Last week I found out that another former running buddy of mine died from a heroin overdose. She left behind 3 kids.

I was talking to Meesh about it, and all I could think of was the old saying, but for the grace of G-d go I.

The stars must have been aligned that day in 1994 when I hit rock bottom and asked for help. If my parents hadn't been home to answer my desperate call, I am sure that I would not be here today.

Of all the people I ran with back in the day, I think I'm the only one that really made it out. The three roommates that I lived with from '85-'86 are all dead. One of them, my boyfriend and longest relationship (9 years,) Danny Santa Cruz, was murdered.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it out with my health, but I did make it out and that's all that matters.

But for the grace of G-d go I. Indeed.


Me & Danny 1986

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Great Broad



I couldn't let this week pass by without acknowledging the death of one of my all-time favorite politicians, Ann Richards. (Democratic Governor of Texas '91-'95.)

Ann was an inspiration and will be missed.


From Wikipedia: .

Richards's keynote address to the 1988 Democratic National Convention put her in the national spotlight when she uttered the famous line, about the wealthy, then-Vice President George H. W. Bush, "Poor George, he can't help it...He was born with a silver foot in his mouth." The speech set the tone for her political future; she was a real Texan who established herself as a candidate who appealed to suburban voters as well as to the traditional Democratic base that included African Americans and Hispanics.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Anyone but Hillary: 2008



In an interview the other day, (I can't remember if it was CNN or ABC) Hillary Clinton was asked if the country was safer now than it was 5 years ago. Her answer? "It's safer, but not yet safe."

Have you heard that before? I have. It's the same answer Bush & Co are using.

I really can't stand her. I hate that she's the frontrunner for our party in '08.

We need to be the opposition party, of which she is not. We need a Russ Feingold, a Barack Obama -- a leader, a maverick. Someone who will stand up to the neocons -- and keep standing up until they go away.

_______________________________________________


9/11 Commission Gave F’s And D’s To The Bush Administration.

The 9/11 Commission gave the Bush Administration 5 F's and 12 D's on the implementation of the Commission's recommendations for homeland security.

AIRPORT SECURITY: Still No Unified Terrorist Watch List.
PORTS: Screening Technology at U.S. Ports Still Inadequate.
BORDERS: Millions Wasted On Inadequate Border Security Efforts.
FIRST RESPONDERS: Emergency Preparedness Still Inadequate.
RAIL AND TRANSIT SECURITY: Bush Has Not Improved Rail and Transit Security.

HUNT FOR BIN-LADEN: Failure to Hunt for Bin Laden "Gravest Error in The War against al Qaeda." According to the Washington Post, "The Bush Administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda, according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge."

My district will make history in November




In Fifth District DFL race, Ellison outran opponents
Rochelle Olson - Star Tribune - September 13, 2006

State Rep. Keith Ellison overcame setbacks and questions about his past to win the DFL nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Martin Sabo, placing him on the verge of becoming the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Ellison's victory ended a hard-fought primary contest considered too close to call even as the results began to come in Tuesday night. In the end, it turned into a three-way contest and Ellison received more than 41 percent of the vote, a stronger finish than observers forecast. He now faces opponents from the Republican, Independence and Green parties.

The 43-year-old Detroit native is in position to become the first black person elected to Congress from Minnesota. Ellison almost never talked about race or religion during the campaign unless asked, but he referred to it when he talked with supporters after the victory.

"We brought together all ages, all colors, all faiths," he said.


"Let's be honest, we faced some tough days, but we never got negative," Ellison continued. "And we proved that you can win an election by going positive and staying positive. We know that negative campaigning has its effects, but it doesn't enhance our humanity, it does not build bridges, it builds walls."

Ellison is a two-term legislator from north Minneapolis who won the party endorsement in May. Tuesday he beat back primary challenges from former state DFL Chair Mike Erlandson, Sabo's longtime chief of staff and his choice of successor, and former state Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge, who made health care her central issue, and Minneapolis City Council Member Paul Ostrow. Erlandson ran second with 31 percent of the vote; Reichgott Junge ran third with 21 percent.

To make history, Ellison still must win in November, but the Fifth District leans hard to the left. That makes him the favorite against Republican Alan Fine, Independence candidate Tammy Lee and Green Party member Jay Pond in November. Pond has challenged Sabo in the past with minimal success.

When Sabo announced his retirement on a snowy Saturday in March, the ranks of DFLers seeking to succeed him swelled.

Ellison stunned the DFL Party convention crowd by winning swiftly. The party's backing should have made him a strong favorite in the primary in a district that includes Minneapolis and inner-ring suburbs.

But Ellison found himself facing questions about his ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in the 1990s, in part because of his work helping organize the Million Man March. After he eased those concerns, he found himself explaining his messy personal affairs -- dozens of unpaid parking tickets, a driver's license suspension, unpaid federal income taxes and campaign finance reports that didn't get filed.

Erlandson and Reichgott Junge hit the airwaves at the end of the campaign with television and radio commercials. With the exception of one modest radio commercial, Ellison focused on direct-mail efforts to primary voters as well as his grass-roots get-out-the-vote effort and an army of volunteers.

His success hinged on motivating "unlikely" primary voters, including peace activists, gay and lesbian voters and minorities, especially Somalis.

Ellison also hails from the North Side, an area with the lowest voter turnout in Minneapolis.

But he repeatedly said his campaign was about how "everyone counts, everyone matters." He called himself the peace candidate, drawing subtle and overt connections to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, considered to be the master of DFL grass-roots politics.


"I have the passion of Wellstone and the practicality of Sabo," Ellison told delegates when he won the party's endorsement. A criminal defense lawyer by profession and a voracious reader with a gift for speech, Ellison delivered a rollicking acceptance speech at the endorsing convention that had many in the room on their feet and recalling Wellstone's abilities.

Ellison's campaign T-shirts were Wellstone green and he sent a mailing to voters featuring a large color picture of Ellison taken with the late senator.


Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale backed Ellison as did influential Wellstone friends, Sam and Sylvia Kaplan, who hosted a well-attended fund-raiser for him. "He's come a long way. He's kept himself under control while the attacks have been relentless," Sam Kaplan said from the Blue Nile on Franklin Avenue where Ellison had his victory party.

Ellison and his wife, Kim, have four children. They moved to the Twin Cities so he could attend the University of Minnesota's law school.

He was raised Catholic and comfortably middle-class, one of four sons. He converted to Islam while at Wayne State University. In adherence to Muslim law, Ellison doesn't drink alcohol or eat pork. His wife isn't a Muslim, but the couple is raising their children in the faith. He attends the Masjid An-Nur mosque led by North Side native, Makram El-Amin.

Reichgott Junge, who also lost a primary campaign for attorney general in 1998, said she's not done with public service. "I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. We ran a positive campaign. We ran a campaign with integrity, honesty and passion and I believe that's a victory," she said.

Erlandson said he intends to dust off his résumé and help Sabo pack up his office. "I am a former state DFL Party chair and I am sure I will be supporting the DFL ticket from the top to the bottom," Erlandson said.


Sabo, who wasn't on a ballot for the first time since 1960, said he had no regrets about the decision to announce his retirement in March rather than earlier in the election cycle.

"I have no qualms about the timing of my announcement. I have no qualms about the decision not to run again," he said.


Side note from Lizzy: I voted for Erlandson, but my vote could have gone either way. Ellison is a good man, and will make a great congressman.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -MLK

Today we remember many things.

We remember where we were. We remember the scenes on television.

We remember the victims who were murdered. We remember the families and loved ones they left behind.

We remember the heroes who charged into danger to save lives.

We remember a moment of unity at home and around the world, where people rallied around a single mission and a common sense of justice that must be done.

Today we face many challenges at home and abroad. And too often it's too easy to be distracted by the politics, the pundits, and the posturing.

We must always remember that the dangers we face know no political party, and the solutions and leadership we need now go beyond ideology.

We must meet these challenges head-on -- remembering to stand together in action as we live together under threat. We are all Americans.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

We will not be silent.

Today we remember many things.

And tomorrow, back on the campaign trail, we will remember to take with us the plain truth and a commitment to true justice for all those whose lives were transformed on this day five years ago.



Thank you.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tattoo me






They'll have to bury me in the special section of the Jewish cemetery now.
(Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 3, episode 6: "The Special Section")

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lizzy vs Mark Kennedy (no relation to the good Kennedys)

Tom & I met up with friends, Brian & Bekkah, at the "Great Minnesota Get Together" - the State Fair.

We go every year for the people watching, great food, and good clean fun. It's also a good place for politics. All of the parties are well represented, and often the candidates themselves will be there to meet the masses...as so it was today.

While walking past the Republican booth, they announced that US Senate candidate (& super-weenie) Mark Kennedy was in the house. We kept walking, but after getting some delicious fair food I said I have to go back & meet him. (When would I get another chance?)

Bekkah & I walked into the opposing party's camp with a greeting that could only be described as "unwelcoming." Ok, maybe wearing a Democratic Underground t-shirt along with a Proud Liberal button gave me away.

We made our way through the crowd (of only about 8) to meet Mr. Kennedy, and then there we were, face-to-face. He shook my hand, took a moment to read my shirt, and said, "I bet you have a lot of questions for me." I said, I only have one.

Me: Why don't you mention in your TV ads that you vote with Bush over 90% of the time?

Kennedy: Why doesn't Amy Klobuchar (his opposition) mention in her ads anything about Howard Dean?

Me: But, we love Howard Dean.

Kennedy turns his back and walks away.

While walking out, within Kennedys earshot, I say loudly, "he didn't answer my question," but by then we were getting looks that could kill so we made our way out.


Incident #2:

While walking past a right-wing radio station, I noticed they were selling t-shirts that read "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder." I stopped in my tracks and said to Bekkah, "them are fighting words," so we walked over. I asked the lady selling them, "how can you sell these?" She looked at me with a glazed look in her eyes & said nothing. Then I said sarcastically "...because the conservatives have done such a great job over the past 6 years?" Still no response. So I tried again to engage her with, "Yep, this country is in wonderful shape." She just sat there - brain dead, so lastly I asked, "aren't you going to say anything?" She said something like "keep it coming," but by then I had had enough of her strange gaze, so we left.


Fun at the fair!


Mark Kennedy



Republican booth (where the bad vibes flow)



Democrat booth (where all the action was...and the good vibes flow)



Tom, goat, Brian, Bekkah



fuzzy chicken



Champion Tom



Liz & chickens



a few people



COW!


What's up chicken butt?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Stay the Course" is NOT a strategy

Want a New Course?




The DSCC has this ad on YouTube. While that's a good start, it should be on TV...a lot.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Real Thing



Last night, CBS aired a special covering Dan Rather's journalism career. It was amazing. Watching a real reporter ask probing questions to the leaders of the day, with persistence, was a delight to watch.

My hope is that today's journalists watched the special and learned something.

Dan, you were the man. I hope we see you again soon.