The Local Crank

Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

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Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States

Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Long Haul

Six Nations protestors who are re-occupying Native land near Caledonia, Ontario, are making preparations to continue their vigil through the winter. See previous posts on this subject here and here.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bush vs. the Environment Update

From the lovely and talented Blognonymous, the Bush Administration moves to cut off public access to environmental records. Purely as a cost-saving measure, I'm sure.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


It occures to me that Sen. George Allen and President George W. Bush have at least one thing in common; they are both fakes. Bush is a fake cowboy, trying to toughen-up a life of privilege with some photo-op brush clearing down on his fake ranch. That's all well and good, though; Bush isn't the first or the last yankee transplant to pull on jeans and boots and suddenly think he's the Duke. Allen, on the other hand, is so desperate to appear Southern, he's clinging to the ugliest, most despicable aspect of our past: virulent racism. From posing with a Confederate battle flag in his California high school yearbook, to silly things like Confederate singalongs, he's develoved to hanging out as governor of Virginia with troglodytes from the Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor to the infamous Civil Rights Era state-sponsored terrorist group, the White Citizens' Council.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Fort Apache

The San Carlos Apache vow to defy efforts to mine copper on their sacred lands. More about the tribe here.

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Still Stupid After All These Years...

...more on the recall effort against anti-Indian bigot and certified Right-wing froot-loop Marilyn Kittelman in Douglas County, Oregon.

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West Nile Virus Gaining on Perry, says Poll

From Eye on Williamson, Perry is dropping, Bell is tied with Kinky and Strayhorn is dragging up in the rear. Maybe now the white liberals that make up the bulk of his support will start noticing just how unfunny Kinky really is.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

John Cornyn: Stooge, Goon or Flunky?

From the Somervell County Salon. When Senator John Cornyn (who was then Attorney General) shut down casinos operated by the Alabama-Coushatta and Tigua Tribes, was he doing so as a political stooge of Jack Abramoff, a goon for the Bush Campaign angry at the tribes for supporting Garry Mauro in 1998, or as a flunky of out-of-state gambling interests (thus betraying his own state)?

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Kicking Him While He's Down

Paul Hackett smacks Van Taylor around a little more.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

People Unclear on the Concept

The preacher of a Mississippi Baptist Church recently resigned when church members refused to allow a 12 year old biracial boy to become a member, out of fears that his black relatives might also attend.
As I have frequently stated, racism and Christianity are mutually incompatible. Just as a man cannot serve two masters, you cannot simultaneously love God and hate His children.
On a related note, alleged Florida US Senate candidate, Cong. Katherine Harris (R-State of Insanity), is now on the "only Christians are fit to rule" bandwagon. Watching the Harris Campaign has rapidly become the political equivalent of watching a train wreck in slow motion.

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Cleburne Times-Review Article for 27 August, 2006

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
--Genesis 2:15

Environmentalism as a political movement owes its existence to the Republican Party. It was the last good Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote, “Defenders of the short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things sometimes seek to champion them by saying the 'the game belongs to the people.' So it does; and not merely to the people now alive, but to the unborn people. The 'greatest good for the greatest number' applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.” Roosevelt also said, “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.” The Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, were all signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1970. It is, therefore, surprising and disappointing to see the extent to which the GOP has become the party of “greed and selfishness.” I would pay good money to see the Bush Administration merely ignore the environment; instead, from the moment he took office, George W. Bush has declared war on America’s natural resources, wildlife and wilderness areas. From his insistence on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (the last sliver of Alaska’s North Shore not already open to exploration), to expanded drilling, mining and logging on public lands (all heavily subsidized by the taxpayer), to his plan to privatize the National Park Service, Bush has consistently worked to rob the “unborn generations” Roosevelt spoke of ninety years ago of their birthright.
Texas has never exactly been on the cutting edge of either conservation or environmentalism. Our laws are antiquated and obsolete, our enforcement agencies weak, our politicians blatantly for sale. Rick Perry, however, is virtually in a class by himself, a failing class. While our under-funded state parks are literally crumbling, he and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson are working to sell off protected lands. Patterson in particular has been hard at work trying to spin this auctioning of public resources through double-talk, obfuscation and political hot air. Cleburne State Park was recently “featured” in another newspaper with the dubious honor of being the poster child for the embarrassing reality of the second largest state in the Union unwilling to spend even money already appropriated to keep its parks from falling apart. Rick Perry’s response? The Governor has actually called for MORE budget cuts for the Department of Parks & Wildlife. Perry’s crowning glory, however, is his pet boondoggle, the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC), a multi-billion dollar concrete abomination that will pave over 580,000 acres of wilderness and farmland right through the heart of the state, increasing pollution (due to increased traffic), and fragmenting wildlife habitats. This monstrous toll-road will be operated by a foreign (Spanish) corporation, Cintra, which has been granted unprecedented powers to condemn property, including denying citizens the right to a court hearing to determine the fair market value of their land BEFORE its seized. Like the new subsidized Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, the TTC was specifically exempted from new state laws that bar the taking of private property for the benefit of corporations. Even worse, the contract with Cintra contains secret provisions that both the company and the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) have refused to disclose, in spite of an Attorney General’s opinion that they must. When US Senate Candidate Barbara Radnofsky pointed out the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars Cintra’s partner Zachry Construction has pocketed over the years, and the donations they have made to both Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the company was downright miffed. How dare the peasants presume to question their betters? Shut up and eat your concrete! Perry and TXDOT have gone out of their way to limit public input and belittle the thousands of Texans who have turned out at public hearings to voice their overwhelming opposition to this bloated, unwieldy cement trough for funneling special-interest money. How can Republicans support this? Where are the rabid, paranoid anti-government loonies when you really need them? Actually, it’s only Rick Perry and his cronies, not even all or most Republicans; both the Democratic and Republic Party State Conventions adopted platforms opposing the TTC. So, folks, whether you are a tree-hugger, a hunter, or just someone who’s developed a fondness for breathable air and drinkable water, it’s time to stand up and make your voice heard. Decades from now, when our grandchildren have never seen a tree that wasn’t planted in someone’s front yard or a deer outside of the zoo, are they really going to thank us because Mexican trucks can roar from the Rio Grande to the Red River, hauling cheap products north and their jobs south?

Friday, August 25, 2006

You Just THOUGHT Tom DeLay Was Crazy!

GOP Congressional candidate in New Hampshire takes crazy to a whole new level.

Fighting Back!

Elouise Cobell, Blackfeet elder and the lead plaintiff in the long-running trust lawsuit against the Interior Department and the BIA, is asking the US Supreme Court to reinstate Judge Royce Lamberth to oversee the case.
Support Elouise's fight for justice by donating to the Native American Rights Fund.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Texas Environment Accidentally Protected

Liberal, activist judges (possibly with ties to Islamofascism) block efforts to recreate the charm of 1952 London in North Texas. Cong. "Smoky" Joe Barton vows, "This injustice will not stand!" Pledges to eat raw coal to demonstrate its lack of harmful effects.

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Van Taylor Pwned. Film at Eleven

Common Sense has more, including transcripts, of Van Carpetbagger's humiliating performance on Hardball. Burnt Orange Report has the video. Chet Edwards should run ads with this clip and this clip only, other than the "I endorse this message" tag at the end.

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The Good Ol' Days

Bull Moose reminisces about the bipartisan welfare reform package passed ten years ago. While I agree with My Right Honorable Colleague about the successes so far, I would note that they have all occurred in the course of a relatively strong economy. My fear for all these people (primarily single mothers with young children) has always been what happens when the economy goes south, as may be happening right now. If things get very bad, very fast, these families with their fragile status just above or below the poverty line will end up "last hired, first fired," and the safety net has been disassembled beneath them.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's STILL The Economy, Stupid!

From the always lovely and talented (liberal)Girl Next Door, a tale of an economy teetering towards the brink.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Free Campaign Advice for Van Taylor...

...if you can't run with the big dogs, stay under the porch. Video of Taylor getting schooled by Chris Matthews and Paul Hackett, courtesy of Crooks & Liars. Commentary by dday at DailyKos.

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Rick Perry: Slightly More Popular than West Nile Virus

Or is that too long for a bumper sticker?

Stupid White Man: Lifetime Achievement Award

Pat Buchanan.

The United States must keep "Americans of European descent" from becoming the "minority" in order to "survive[]."

Kiss my rosy Cherokee ass, Buchanan.


A Third-World Country With Good Roads

The second-largest state in the Union and we can't even keep our state parks open. And Perry's solution is to CUT the Department of Parks & Wildlife Budget even more. Absolutely pitiful. As I have often said, it's a pity that stupidity isn't painful.

What Might Have Been...

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen the saddest are these: 'It might have been.' "
--John Greenleaf Whittier

From New York Magazine, 18 short essays from various authors on what New York, America and the World might have been like had 9/11 never happened.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons

It'd be about damn time.

Not JonBenet Ramsey or John Mark Karr

From DailyKos, a response to the media's herd instinct. Thanks to press' feeding frenzy, everyone knows what this slimy pedophile had for lunch on his flight back to the United States, but does anyone know (or care) what's happening to our veterans? Or how Congress continues to screw them over, all the while waving the flag?

Oh, NOW He Tells Us!

President Bush finally admits that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, after he and his Administration spent the last three years going out of their way to suggest it did.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

A fitting tribute from Kos.

The Right Is Cracking

From The Washington Post, the formerly united Right-Wing Punditocracy is breaking up as some of the President's most vocal backers are turning against him. If the GOP loses one or both Houses of Congress in November, the wall will come tumbling down.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The TTC: Paving Over Your Constitutional Rights

From the Somervell County Salon. Can someone please explain to me why Republicans are in favor of this abomination? Aren't they supposed to be the ones who think environmental regulations violate your property rights? Where are the paranoid, rabid, anti-government fanatics when we really need them?

Home Invasions!

US Border Patrol agents are allegedly harassing and threatening civilians, and invading private homes in the Tohono O'odham Nation, which straddles the Mexican border in Arizona.

Now There's A Surprise

The Pension Reform Bill recently signed into law takes a swipe at tribal sovereignty by imposing burdens on tribal employee pensions that are not imposed on state and local government employees.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just Say NO! to Suicide Bombers!

There's a story, perhaps apocryphal, from the days of the Moon Race. NASA supposedly learned to their horror that ink pens wouldn't work in zero-gravity. In response, they spent millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours, but eventually developed a pen that would write in outer-space, upside-down or at the bottom of the ocean. The Russians, meanwhile, just used pencils.
This $1 million + public-service-announcement currently running on Iraqi television reminded me of that story for some strange reason...

Cleburne Times-Review Column for 20 August, 2006

“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.”
--Psalm 78:5-6

School is back and my youngest has officially started kindergarten. A lot seems different than what I remember; for one thing, the kindergarten has computers, which weren’t even invented when I was that age. We had to use an abacus or count rocks. There seem to be an awful lot of school supplies required nowadays, including enough bottles of glue, coffee filters and manila paper to build a full-scale model of the Great Wall of China. When I started school, the only supplies we needed were flint and tender to start a campfire and some sticks to make spears to fight off the saber-toothed tigers that were then known to roam the outskirts of Cleburne. Other things have changed, too. Once upon a time, not too terribly long ago, support for public education was one of the few reliably bi-partisan issues in Texas and in the nation as a whole. Both parties recalled the words of Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe in 1786, “I think by far the most important bill in our whole code, is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness... The tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.” In Texas, Sam Houston, a Jeffersonian by way of Jackson, stated, “The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government.” During his otherwise execrable term as President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Lamar outlined a visionary system for free public schools that earned him the nickname “Father of Texas Education.” Such unity is gone now, seemingly for good. As the Republic Party has slowly been captured by the ultra-paranoid tin-foil hat crowd, public schools are now seen as a sinister conspiracy of secular humanists, Darwinists, evil teachers’ unions, and homosexuals. The GOP’s war on public schools was perhaps best exemplified when State Rep. Debbie Riddle bloviated, “Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it's cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It's not a tender heart. It's ripping the heart out of this country.” Or if you prefer the statements of some of the Republican’s spiritual gurus, there’s Pat Robertson (“The public education movement has also been an anti-Christian movement…”) or Jerry Falwell (“I hope to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we don't have public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them”). Actions, of course, speak louder than words. After ignoring school finance for years in favor of multiple special sessions to abolish democracy through redistricting, Texas Republicans recently passed a “reform” bill that doesn’t provide any new money for schools, and in fact will end up providing less funding and higher taxes. The Bush Administration tried hard to bury a Department of Education report showing that, despite their problems, public schools compare favorably with private schools. Our beloved former State Rep., Arlene Wohlgemuth, has recently teamed-up with millionaire anti-public school candidate sugar daddy Dr. James Leininger to lobby against “special interests” and their “pet causes,” like decent schools. Wohlgemuth already did her part to kill affordable health insurance for children; so as long as they’re sick, why not keep them ignorant as well? Leininger, and many other Republicans, favor vouchers as a way to interject the “free market” and “competition” into public education, in spite of the fact that our most recent experiment in privitizing education through the use of charter schools has been a dismal failure. So why the Republican hostitility toward learning? The paranoid on the Left might observe that ignorant peasants are obedient peasants. The reality, however, is more cynical: it’s just another way to scare votes out of decent people of faith who have legitimate concerns about real education issues: the lack of discipline, under-funded schools, a sometimes unresponsive bureacracy and so forth. Like the tele-Pharisees, the GOP deliberately misrepresents court decisions like Engel v. Vitale to suggest that prayer in school is now illegal. It isn’t, of course, and no court anywhere in America has ever ruled that individual students cannot pray in school. Texas Republicans rail about teachers’ unions, though unions in Texas as a whole are virtually powerless. Fear is a great motivator, though, as is scapegoating. As Lyndon Johnson once said in another context, that of the Civil Rights Movement, “If you can convince the lowest white man that he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll even empty his pockets for you.” In public education, the Republicans hope that if they can make you afraid of teachers, homosexuals and Charles Darwin, you won’t notice their hands in your wallet. This strategy is cynical, it’s shameful and harmful to society and our children and real conservatives, the few who are left, should rise up to denounce it.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sand Creek Massacre Remembered

A memorial trail has been created to honor the memories of the more than 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho women, children and elders who, despite being camped under an American flag, were massacred by Colonel John Chivington and the Colorado Militia on November 29, 1864.


Warrantless Wiretaps No Good

The ACLU and some liberal activist judge (she's even a woman and black) cripple America's ability to fight the "War on Terror" by imposing the mild inconvenience of obtaining an after-the-fact warrant from a secret court created just for that purpose before tapping a suspect's phones. More in-depth analysis from Gleen Greenwald.

Sovereignty Warriors in Action!

From ePluribus Media: Local Native Americans crash a GOP fundraiser for a candidate who wants to eliminate tribal water rights.

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The Redemption of Oz

Descendents of L. Frank Baum are in South Dakota to offer apologies to the Lakota people for at least two editorials written by the famed author of the Wizard of Oz books calling for the extermination of Native Americans. These editorials, written immediately before and immediately after the US Army massacred as many as 150 Miniconjou Lakota at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890, are particularly hateful and brutal. The Baum Family is to be commended for their act of contrition.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good Question

Conservatives starting to notice the Bush Administration's incompetence. Publius asks: Who the Hell is running this place?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Whose Ox is Being Gored?

What would we think of a foreign country that detained a terrorism suspect who we believed was responsible for killing 73 people in an airliner bombing yet refused to extradict him to stand trial? Yet, that is precisely what the US is doing with Luis Posada Carriles. Read the link and see if you can spot the difference. I'll give you a hint; the answer starts with the letters "Cuba" and "Venezuela."


Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, Iran's bizarre caricature of a President, now has a blog, where, according to people who can read Farsi, he talks about his impoverished childhood and invites readers to vote on whether or not America wants to start World War III. As if you needed more proof than my site that they'll let anybody blog these days. As an added bonus to visitors with Israeli IP addresses, Ahmadenijad offers a computer virus. Smart move there, Mr. President. Ask Hizbollah what Israel does when attacked...


Driving Miss Dumbass

Lord knows I have little use for Al Sharpton, but to have the Weekly Standard cartoon him as a white-gloved chaffeur to Ned Lamont? What the hell are these guys smoking? What's next? Hubert Vo as a laundryman (yes, I know he's Vietnamese, not Chinese, but bigots aren't supposed to be intelligent)? Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell passed out drunk in front of his "teepee"? Do Conservatives really think this is a smart way to court black voters?

Missing the Point

George Will, via Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald, observes that the UK Airline Plot makes John Kerry's point about fighting terrorism, not George W. Bush's.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Stupid White Man of the Week: Senator George Allen

"Mohawk" is not, in fact, pronounced "macaca," but "George Allen" is pronounced "dumb ass."


These Boots Were Made for Walking

An important race you've probably not thought about, Texas Supreme Court.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Together Again For the First Time!

A match made in heaven, Arlene Wohlgemuth and James Leininger team up to put the beat-down on those whiny sick children with their constant moaning and crying about "health care" and uppity teachers who are all secular humanists and devil-worshippers anyway.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Abramoff's Tentacles Reached Interior Department

A former Interior official has pled guilty to failing to report gifts (bribes) from uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Yes, I know it's shocking to think that a man who made his millions screwing Indian tribes would be interested in the very Federal agency tasked with screwing Indian tribes.


Keeping America Safe?

The Bush Administration recently sought to transfer $6 million of the Homeland Security budget away from developing new explosives-detecting technology. How are we going to protect our nation's vital petting zoos and popcorn factories with this kind of attitude?

Cleburne Times-Review Column for 13 August, 2006

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
--Revelations 3:16

The major party system in America (Democrats vs. Republicans) has been in place, more or less unchanged, since 1856. Third Parties (Populists, Socialists, Ross Perot) have come and gone, but they never survived for long. One or both of the major parties always managed to incorporate just enough of their least-radical ideas to strip the insurgents of power. When Theodore Roosevelt sought the Republican nomination for a then-unprecedented third term as President in 1912, primary elections were still a novelty and few states (mostly the ones where the progressive movement was strongest) had them. Presidential nominees of both parties were chosen in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms by party bosses. So Roosevelt, even though he was clearly the favorite of rank-and-file Republicans, was denied the nomination in favor of his more conservative successor, William Howard Taft, and TR ended up running as an independent on the Progressive or Bull Moose Ticket. Since then, primary elections became part of the major reforms enacted throughout the country and now dominate the system. Eventually, the US Supreme Court forced the Democratic Party in the South (which ruled like Stalin, brooking no competition) to stop using primary elections to enforce white supremacy by preventing blacks from voting in them and they theoretically became even more democratic and open. The problem with the system now is that party identification in America, the percentage of voting Americans willing to call themselves Democrats or Republicans, has dropped dramatically in the last forty years. As a result, fewer and fewer people are voting in party primaries. So, naturally, primary elections tend to be dominated more and more by those motivated to turn out, i.e., the extremes of both parties, liberals for the Democrats and conservatives for the Republicans. Three elections so far this year show the effects of this trend. In Texas, Carol Keeton Strayhorn took a long hard look at the numbers and saw that there was no way she could ever defeat Rick Perry in a Republican Primary Election, especially with Perry suddenly going all-out to pander to religious conservative voters. So now she’s running as an “Independent,” though her campaign is pretty clearly geared towards socially moderate suburban Republican voters. In Michigan, Cong. Joe Schwartz, endorsed by President Bush, Sen. John McCain and the National Rifle Association, nevertheless lost the Republican Primary to a social conservative backed by the ultra right-wing Club for Growth, Tim Walberg. And, of course, in the most highly publicized vote, Senator and 2000 Vice Presidential nominee Joe Lieberman narrowly lost to millionaire businessman and former Republican Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic Primary for the US Senate. Like the Michigan race that focused on abortion and stem cell research, the Connecticut race was about “hot button” issues. Lieberman alienated liberal Democrats for supporting the war in Iraq, but more than that, his relationship with President Bush was seen as too cozy and too deferential. In fact, a picture of President Bush warmly hugging Lieberman became as infamous as Bush bussing Cong. Henry Cuellar of Texas, which nearly led to Cuellar losing his own primary election. So, in some respects, you might say that Lieberman was a victim of Bush’s incredible unpopularity. Most of the coverage of the Connecticut Senate race focused on the allegedly nefarious influence of the “blogosphere,” political writers (predominately liberal) who post their thoughts (but mostly just links to other peoples’ thoughts) on the internet. By my rough calculations, 95% of everything on the internet is crap and the political blogosphere epitomizes that, with a variety of posters using the anonymity of being on-line to make various outrageous, moronic, and (with the confluence of the Israeli-Lebanon War and Lieberman’s re-election bid) borderline anti-semitic remarks. Of course, when notorious blowhard and sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly tried to inflate a few idiots into an indictment of all liberals, he gilded the lily by selectively misquoting things his crack team of researchers stumbled across while combing the blogs for ammunition. He also conveniently ignores even more vile rhetoric, calling for assassination and torture of political opponents, which regularly appears out from under assorted rocks on conservative blogs. Ultimately, though, how much influence did the blogosphere have? Probably not that much. For one thing, Ned Lamont was rich enough to self-fund his campaign; he didn’t need “netroots” money, unlike Cuellar’s opponent Ciro Rodriguez, who undoubtedly benefited from it. And while just about every liberal blog sported a Ned Lamont ad, only a small percentage of the hits on these sites were from registered Connecticut voters. It was the equivalent of buying TV ad time during the Superbowl for a local Justice of the Peace race. Absent exit polling data, I tend to doubt that very large numbers of voters made their choices based on what some guy on the internet told them. Lieberman has now announced that he will run as an Independent; ultimately, this may be the fate of the primary election, pushed out of the mainstream and doomed by well-funded Independents like Lieberman and Strayhorn who decide to bypass their own parties.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Saved By The...French?

More Great Moments in American Foreign Policy. With no credibility in the Middle East (or anywhere else, for that matter), the Bush Administration has to rely on France to broker a peace deal in Lebanon. Yeah, we're standing tall now, pal!

Can You Hear Me Now?

From Lawyers, Guns & Money, turns out that the Brits were able to foil a major terrorist plot without the need for warrantless wiretaps. Imagine that!

Life Is Cheap

From ePluribus Media, true stories of the victims of tort "reform."

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My Hero?

Via Publius at Protect and Defend. Not all conservatives are happy with how the Bush Administration handled the alleged UK airline bombing plot. Meanwhile, the President steadfastly refuses to "let the terrorists win" by, you know, cutting short his vacation or anything.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

And Don't Let the Doorknob Hit You On Your Way Out

Cynthia McKinney lost. Good riddance. She was an embarrassment, and a borderline loony-tune that made the entire party look bad by association. Hopefully, William Jefferson is next.

Sheer Brass Monkeys

The White House rubs its grubby little hands together with glee at the prospect of political gains from an apparently narrowly-averted brutal terrorist mass-murder. Meanwhile, Big Dick Cheney worries that Connecticut voters are emboldening "the al Qaeda types" by shamelessly refusing to vote for the candidate the White House preferred. One imagines Osama bin Laden in his cave anxiously surfing the blogosphere. "Well, I was gonna call off this whole war against the Great Satan, but now that the Democrats have nominated Ned Lamont, JIHAD!!!"

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Apocalypse Narrowly Avoided

Contrary to Right-wing prognostications, the nomination of Ned Lamont seems not to have doomed the Democratic Party for November after all. And Kos should know, what with being the Supreme Overlord of the Internets. All glory to the Great and Powerful Kos!

Word On The Street

From Glenn Greenwald at Salon (sifting through annoying ad likely required), some very interesting and revealing results from exit polls of voters in the Connecticut Democratic Senatorial Primary.

Going to Extremes

According to Tony Snow, 60% of the American people are "extreme left[ists]." So, you know, welcome aboard. Help yourself to some bottled water and canapes.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stupid White Man of the Week: Marilyn Kittleman

Douglas County (Oregon) Commissioner Marilyn Kittleman believes efforts by her constituents, including the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians, to recall her for being a racist blowhard is "political terrorism" which she goes on to compare to the 9-11 attacks. Yeah, it's a pity Indians can vote, huh, Commissioner? Maybe you should ask your pals at One Nation to help out...

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A Good Lawyer Knows the Law...

...a great lawyer gets the judge removed as soon as he or she rules against their client. From Legal Times, a legal critique of the DC Circuit's decision to remove Judge Royce Lamberth from the Cobell Trust Case.
I have been on the receiving end of something like this, more than ten years ago when I was working on a complex personal injury/product liability case in Travis County. Travis County had (and may still have) a truly annoying rotating docket system, whereby every single pre-trial motion you file gets heard by a random judge. In a case with significant discovery issues, like that one, it meant that with every motion, we had to explain the entire case from Adam and Eve to the present, plus the controversy at hand, to a new judge. Finally, I discovered a section of the local rules that allowed you to request that a single judge be assigned to hear the entire case. So, we requested the first and only judge to rule in our favor. Then, the Defendants moved to recuse that judge on the grounds that he was biased because he ruled for us! Evidently, the previous five judges that had ruled for the Defendant were perfectly alright. The judge we requested recused himself, I think primarily because he was up for re-election, and we were assigned a judge who promptly denied everything we asked for. Just to be obnoxious, we tried to recuse her and I pretty much copied the Defendant's motion word-for-word, but of course, it didn't work.


In the Immortal Words of Pogo...

...we has met the enemy and they is us.

Writing in Native American Times, Tim Giago makes the excellent point that one of the greatest threats to tribal sovereignty is...the tribes themselves.

Heart of Darkness

Driftglass contemplates the heart of the neo-con movement that has hijacked the GOP.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Uniter, Not A Divider...

In a show of sheer political brass monkeys that should guarantee him a job in the Bush White House, the man who plans to hold wet t-shirt contests within view of the sacred Mato Paha is actually taking credit for the people rallying against him.

"I truly feel that they are using me as the goat," Allen said of the groups aligned against him."I'm like the character they're using to bond together... I'm kind of proud that I'm creating this cohesion amongst those people, and I'm kind of complimented for it."

Good God, what a moron!

Steal This Seat!

Justice Scalia denies the GOP's request for a stay; DeLay is now good and stuck. It now becomes a moral imperative that we open a can of electoral beat-down on this vicious, unprincipaled, bloodthirsty little tin dictator with a bad hairpiece. Give Nick Lampson some love.

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Mad Mel

Okay, I really hadn't planned to say anything about Mel Gibson, but this from The Poor Man Institute was just too funny.

Yeah, That's About Nine Different Kinds of Creepy...

I think it's now safe to say that Ralph Hall is losing it. From Pinkdome.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...

More memories from the Great Eighties. Seriously, kids, this used to be cutting edge! My five year old heard me playing this and said it made his ears bleed. Kids today. No respect for tradition.

And Speaking of the Knee-Jerk Anti-Israeli Attitude of Some On the Left...

...this is easily one of the most assinine conspiracy theories I've heard, ranking right up there with "the Jews didn't report to work at the WTC on September 11." You can be as critical as you want of Israel's attack on Lebanon (and there's alot there to criticize), but how can anyone rationally believe the Israeli government is letting its own people die for PR purposes?

Talking Points Memo

From the Burnt Orange Report, a well-documented rebuttal to the Republic Party's bullet points on the economy.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Oklahoma State Senator Nancy Riley, the Republican Minority Whip, switches parties and joins the Democrats. Same thing is happening in Kansas. It's too bad Bernard Erickson didn't get this kind of support...

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Stand And Be Recognized

The Charlotte Observer editorializes in favor of Federal Recognition for the Lumbee Tribe. I would only add that the Cherokee Nation, the UKB and the Eastern Band should stop their shameful efforts to delay recognition solely because of casino economics.

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Dear Mr. Kempthorne...

The Seattle Times on the Cobell Trust Litigation, "Settle this travesty, write big checks, and do it with the humility of a penitent making amends."


Friday, August 04, 2006

New Maps For Old

From Burnt Orange Report. The new court-ordered Congressional district lines restore some sanity, as Doggett's 25th doesn't reach all the way to Mexico anymore. Lamar Smith is likely saved, but Henry Bonilla may be in trouble. I know John Courage pledged to stay in and run against Smith, but maybe he should look slightly south and further west.

Kay Bailey Hutchison: Class Warrior

From the Carpetbagger Report:

Last night featured all of the predictable rhetoric and arguments, but my nominee for the dumbest comment of the debate comes by way of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas): "[W]e are turning our back on the middle-class and poor people in this country who depend on the minimum wage and death-tax relief."

Right. That would be all the desperately poor millionaire heiresses yearning to breath free.
Just one more reason to love Barbara Ann.

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Just Desserts

Irony is not just dead; it's corpse has been disinterred and now is on display in the National Museum of Outdated Concepts, in between "Rule of Law" and "Modesty."

Paris Hilton Relief Act Dies in Senate

Republicans vow to continue fight to relieve the crushing tax burden on dozens of vacuous, amoral, dimwitted heiresses.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Meanwhile, in Big Sky Country...

Senator Conrad Burns may very well have torpedoed his re-election bid with a bizarre attack on firefighters who are battling wildfires all across Montana. Next thing you know, he'll start insulting 9-11 widows. Nah, that would be insane!

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Where Are Texans for Tort Reform When You Really Need Them?

From Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: one of the Marines accused of war crimes at Haditha is actually suing Cong. John Murtha for "defamation," but NOT the Republican Congresscritters who said the same things. As I have mentioned before, lawsuits are only "frivolous" when Republicans don't like them...

Drawing Yet More Lines In The Sand

The federal judges overseeing the Texas redistricting suit seem skeptical of the GOP's plan to punish the voters of Travis County for daring to vote for Democratic candidates.

DeLay STILL Stuck

The Republican campaign against democracy suffered another setback today as a three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit ruled that the GOP cannot remove a candidate from the ballot just because he is less popular than a case of the clap. Vowing to fight these "activist judges" who insist on enforcing the "liberal notion" that voters should pick candidates, the Republican Party of Texas is appealing to the US Supreme Court. Justice Scalia has been assigned to the case, and of course he is well known for his fidelity to will of the voters in free elections.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Something Happening Here...

Charlie Cook of the highly respected Cook Political Report now says that Democrats could win control of the House just by taking the 15 GOP-held seats he rates as "toss ups." There are no Democratic-held seats currently in that category. Another 21 Republican seats are rated as only "leaning Republican." The Senate seems more problematic, with Democrats likely able to pick up 4-5 seats, but not the 6 they need to take control.

Never A Good Sign...

National Guard chief says more than 2/3rds of the Army National Guard's 34 brigades are not "combat ready," mostly due to chronic equipment shortages.